Repeated Refrains

Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there.  And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands.  Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:43-45

I love repeated refrains in hymns that emphasize at the end of each stanza’s ‘story’ the truth it illustrates or supports. “Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou, my God, wouldst die for me?” Throughout Scripture, repeated refrains of God’s good plans fulfilled are sung over and over. The resolution of Israel’s establishment in Canaan was an ‘Amen’ to all God had promised, all He had trained His people for through the Exodus from Egypt and the wanderings in Sinai, all He had instructed and Joshua had obeyed. And this settling in the land foretells the higher and better rest we will know one day, ‘that day,’ when we are with Jesus forever. The God Who calls, promises, and equips brings all to pass. The LORD gave the land, the rest, the enemies into their hands, the fulfillment of His promises.

Yosemite lake w mountain reflection in grey

Reading this passage near the end of Joshua, I cannot help but think of Revelation 21:3-7: And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’  And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.  The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.'”

Great is Your faithfulness, Lord, unto Your people. Every time You do what You say You will do, You strengthen my faith and anticipation in what will be. What occurs here on earth is a beautiful reflection of all You will one day fulfill. You determine every glorious resolution, and Your constancy and fidelity to Your word inform and encourage me through my present journey. Jesus, Jesus, how I trust You! How I’ve proved You o’er and o’er! It is indeed well with my soul.

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