God will ultimately fulfill ALL His promises: "So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass." (Josh 21:43-45)
God promised to give to the seed of Abraham the land of Canaan for a possession, and now they possessed it and made it their home. The above passage is a general winding up of the history from Deut chapter 13, which narrates the occupation of the land by the Israelites. All the promises made by God, whether to the Israelites or to Joshua (Josh 1:5) had been, or were in the course of being fulfilled. The above passage speaks about the fulfillment of three great promises of God:
- God will give the Promised Land to Abraham’s children. Prophecy: Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” (Gen 12:7). Fulfillment: "So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.” (Josh 21:43)
- God will give rest to the Israelites when they inherit the Promised Land. Prophecy: "But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety" (Deut 12:10). Fulfillment: “The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers” (Josh 21:44a)
- God will deliver the Israelites from all their enemies in the Promised Land. Prophecy: "When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you...and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them" (Deut 7:1-2) Fulfillment: “And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand” (Josh 21:44b)
Let us be rest assured that God will ultimately fulfill ALL His promises concerning our heavenly Canaan to us - His spiritual Israel. This recorded experience of the Israelites (Josh 21:45) is a reason for hope and confidence to God’s people in every period of history that all other promises made to the Church will, in due time, be accomplished. Let us be careful how we lead our lives here on earth. "Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it" (Heb 4:1).