The Faithful God
“They did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.” (Joshua 5:12)
We have each traveled a long and laborious pathway during these past few years as the World and the Church have both undergone unprecedented challenge and change. It seems that everything that can be shaken is being shaken, and ultimately only those things that are unshakable will remain. O to us may grace be given to stand in the unshakable Kingdom.
Sadly, some have not made the journey. Having been turned aside by the lure of lesser things, or backed down by the threat of difficult things, or held captive by the hollow hope of nostalgic things — not all who started out on this trek have made it this far. We look around and they are gone. “Demas hath forsaken me,” wrote the apostle Paul, “having loved this present world” (2 Tim.4:10).
But not all who are gone from us have fallen. There are those happy souls who have finished their race with joy and been transported to the City, whose builder and maker is God; and we rejoice with them as we hope for heaven ourselves. And our hope is not in vain, nor will our longings be left unrewarded. For we are neither lethargic nor nostalgic; we are full of life and filled with dreams.
Today belongs to those who live by a faith that sees beyond the limitations of human reason and effort; a faith that trusts in the unfailing love of the Faithful God who alone has brought us safe thus far; and who alone will carry us all the way to our Hope of Glory.
Joshua serves as a splendid example of those who survive and prevail by placing their faith in the Faithful God.
Joshua was born a captive in Egypt, and as a young boy watched with wonder as God parted the Red Sea and made a way in the wilderness. He was with Moses as a young man throughout the wilderness wanderings, all the while being groomed by God for his future assignment. Perhaps even now the Lord is grooming you for some future mission.
It was Joshua who led the spies into the Promised Land and saw for himself what others only dreamed about. He alone, with Caleb, argued the case for Faith when all others caved in to doubt, fear, and unbelief. And it was Joshua, the man of faith, whom God anointed to lead the children of Israel into Canaan to experience the fulfillment of promises made by the Faithful God, and to finish the business at hand of reclaiming the Land from those who had been stolen by the powers of darkness.
These recollections serve as a great encouragement to us today as we face a similar opportunities for making progress in the things of God. Just as the Lord rescued His people from Egyptian bondage, so He has marked us by His love and redeemed us unto Himself out of the fallen and faulted world system, wherein we were held captive under the heavy hand of task-masters who drove us with whip and stick in the lustful pursuit of power, sex, and money. Our lives were marred by corruption, stained with shame, and marked for death. But God, who is rich in mercy and unfailing in His faithfulness, redeemed us!
And now the Faithful God stands before us, and beckons us to follow Him onward and He takes us inward that we might go upward. The challenges are not over, nor are the changes complete, but our hearts are lifted with a sense of imminent breakthroughs; things oft dreamed about, and long-awaited, seem to be so very close at hand. The smell of rain is in the air. Come, friend, take heart and renew your trust in the Faithful God. For it will be said of us as it was of our predecessors — “They did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year” (Jos.5:12).
From Egyptian bondage, through desert dryness and testing, to a land that flowed with milk and honey — the Faithful God has ever been there for us, as He was with them.