(3) The Settlement of Israel Is Completed
“”I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?” So the LORD said to him, … “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. …In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates–the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.””
“So the LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there.” . The writer summarizes the account of the conquest of the land but from other accounts we see that the full conquest was not a reality at this point in time. The account recorded in Judges, after Joshua’s death, begins with the question “Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites?” , and we observe that there was still settlements of Canaanites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Amorites living among the Tribes of Israel, some of which were not driven out of the land contrary to God’s command, and they continued to war with Israel and caused Israel to sin against their God .
“The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers.” , God had given them rest from the attacks and oppression of their enemies, He had provided them the inheritance of a land “filled with milk and honey” – food and drink for all the people, and secure borders. The writer to the Hebrews also speaks of a “rest” for the people of God, unlike the rest that was given in Joshua’s time. Unlike those that doubted and disobeyed God in the wilderness journeys and even to those that inherited the land, for he continues to say “Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.” God has now provided a rest for all those that believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, which is described as “a rest from his own work” indicating that one cannot participate in this rest if he/she continues to do so by the “good works” of obeying the Law of Moses. “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” .
“Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” . We are reminded that God’s promises never fail and each of us can testify to that fact just as Israel did .