Lent Devotion for March 22
"A Fulfilled Promise"
Reader: “The land on which your feet have walked…"
Response: “…will be your inheritance.”
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 14:1–9
1 Now these are the areas the Israelites received as an inheritance in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the tribal clans of Israel allotted to them. 2 Their inheritances were assigned by lot to the nine and a half tribes, as the Lord had commanded through Moses. 3 Moses had granted the two and a half tribes their inheritance east of the Jordan but had not granted the Levites an inheritance among the rest,4 for Joseph’s descendants had become two tribes—Manasseh and Ephraim. The Levites received no share of the land but only towns to live in, with pasturelands for their flocks and herds. 5 So the Israelites divided the land, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
6 Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’
Reader: "The word of the Lord.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
There are a couple of things we learn here of God’s character. One of the main workings of God’s plan was to have His chosen people, the Jews, settle in the Promised Land of Canaan. Through a rather circuitous route, His people eventually ended up there...twelve tribes strong, plus the Levites. This large portion of the book of Joshua (chapters 13-21) describes in detail the allotment and location of land to each of those tribes. It took forty years for God’s promise to come to fruition due to the rebellion of His people. Not only were the promises fulfilled to the tribes, but to the individuals as well, namely Caleb and Joshua, the two who had given a positive report after spying out the land shortly after the exodus. God’s promise to those two was that they would see the Promised Land and live in it. An interesting thing regarding Caleb, he was not an Israelite! The Kenezzites were a tribe of desert people that lived in the southern part of Canaan at the time of Abraham, some 600 years earlier. Caleb was a Kenezzite. At some point between the time of Abraham and Moses, the Kenezzite people had apparently become attached to the tribe of Judah and Caleb was the representative from that tribe to go on the spying mission. His positive spy report resulted in his living through the forty years; the other ten spies died shortly after their faithless report. Now, at the age of eighty-five, Caleb, still a leader in the tribe of Judah, comes to Joshua to claim his inheritance. He followed the Lord wholeheartedly and as he said, “the Lord kept me alive to this day.” So Caleb received his home in the Promised Land, the very land he had walked on forty-five years earlier! God was faithful to one who had given himself completely to his Lord. Hebron, Caleb’s town, exists to this day amidst Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the brief account, we have two examples of God fulfilling His promises even forty-five years later. Much of our worlds can shift, melt, or fade. God never does. He is our Rock. The world all around where you go today needs to know. Tell ‘em!
"I Can Tell the World” by Nathanael Dett Chorale, arrangement Moses Hogan (Watch on YouTube)
Glorious God, I bless thee that I know thee. I once lived in the world, but was ignorant of its creator, was partaker of they providences, but knew not the provider, was blind while enjoying the sunlight, was deaf to all things spiritual, with voices all around me, understood many things, but had no knowledge of thy ways, saw the world, but did not see Jesus only. O happy day, when in thy love’s sovereignty thou didst look upon me, and call me by grace. then did the dead heart begin to beat, the darkened eye glimmer with light, the dull ear catch thy echo, and I turned to thee and found thee, a God ready to hear, willing to save. The gospel cornet brought a sound unknown to me before that reached my heart—and I lived—never to lose my hold on Christ or his hold on me. Grant that I may always weep to the praise of mercy found, and tell to others as long as I live, that thou art a sin-pardoning God, taking up the blasphemer and the ungodly, and washing them from their deepest stain.
- The Valley of Vision, p.62