Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed. (Joshua 23:14)
The Faithful And Sure Word Of The Lord
Joshua had lived to be one hundred and ten years of age. His early life had been spent in Egypt under the harsh hand of the Pharaoh. He had witnessed the power of God in the deliverance of the Hebrews from bondage through the miracles of the plagues, crossing of the Red Sea, deliverance by the hand of the Lord from enemies; great and powerful miracles in the forty years of wilderness wanderings. It was Joshua that led the people across the Jordan River to conquer first Jericho and then the promised land. As death neared the old soldier of the Lord, he exhorted the people to choose whom they would serve. The reassurance he could give by his personal witness was that God never lies, always keeps His promise and everything – everything promised by the word of the Lord came true.
No man or nation of men can make a boast of the integrity of keeping every word from generation to generation. Joshua had seen one hundred ten years of unbroken promises. No matter what came up against the people, God was always faithful. Often the people mistrusted the Lord rebelling against His grace but the Lord remained true to His word. The Hebrews murmured, complained, rebelled, rejected and tried the patience of the Lord but in every story, it was the Lord who kept His word. God never failed. The people failed often. When the Lord promised to protect the people He did. When the people disobeyed the will of God He punished them – just like He said He would do. Joshua affirmed from personal experience that God never lied.
If there is one single theme throughout the Bible, it is this: the Lord God keeps His promises. The goodness of God and the severity of God are sure and true. All of the blessings of His goodness are given to men who obey Him. All of the promises of punishment will be meted out to those who reject Him. All the good things will come and all the harmful things will come. Men forget. God does not. That is good. That is bad. When we believe the Lord will overlook our rebellion forgetting what we have done we have deceived ourselves into thinking that God is like us. It is impossible for man to keep all the promises he makes. It is impossible for God to lie. Big difference.
The assurance of the doctrine of God’s pure word is that He has promised eternal life. This is not a “maybe” proposition but the sure word of the Lord. There is a place of eternal rest for all the faithful of the Lord who love Him, obey Him, embrace His word and walk in His footsteps. Heaven is a real place built upon real promises. There should be no doubt or fear. Not one word of God will fail. On the other hand, the wrath of God is just as sure. To those who refuse to obey the will of the Lord sure judgment will come. Either case – God does not lie. One of the great lessons from the Old Testament is the stories that prove this point. Repeatedly God reveals when He promises blessings they come in accordance with His word; and when He warns of destruction His promises are sure and steadfast. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord God of truth and promise keeping. Lord come quickly.
God’s word is not simply a communication or an object statement, but a positive command which does not permit man to assume the attitude of a spectator or to enjoy mere disinterested research. (Adolph Keller, Religion and the European Mind, 1934)