Judy and I have been married for over three decades.  That's lots of living.  Lots of thrills.  Tons of disappointment.  Hour after hour of the mundane and routine.  We're both deeply flawed.  It's more obvious in me.  But Judy has sinful tendencies too.  We're still together because we each made a promise to the other even before we were married.  We promised to hang on to one another.  To cling come what may.  Only death can break our bond.     Promises kept throughout life's twists and turns have a stabilizing and adorning effect on relationships.  And we both need to hear from one another that the promise is still intact.

I believe that's why God mentioned His promise to Joshua eight times in Joshua 1.  Promises keep commitments from crumbling into distant wishes.  The promise from God was that He would give the people of Israel the land of Canaan.  Joshua needed to hear those words.  Joshua's task and the obstacles he would encounter were beyond formidable.  Closer to impossible.  It's likely Joshua was at least a little uncertain and maybe a little intimidated by the what and who he would encounter in fulfilling his mission.  God's promise was stabilizing, and helped enable Joshua to move forward as a leader. 

I made a promise to my wife and she trusts me.  I have proven to be a faithful husband over time.  That marital integrity has added a richness and beauty to our relationship.  But the truth is I could fail.  I can be tempted and I can be weak.  God can't fail.  God can't be tempted.  He is always and forever infinitely strong.  Truth is that both Judy and I trust God to keep us strong.  His promise to be with us through life is the real reason we can stay together.  And its one crucial reason Joshua could lead God's people into the Promised Land.

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