What does the narrative of Israel's tribal inheritances in the book of Joshua teach us about God's faithfulness to his covenant?

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In Joshua 13:22, we see the Lord upholding his end of the bargain, so to speak. And in that way the book is emphasizing the covenant that God has made with Israel because it's showing the Lord being faithful to what he's promised to do. In fact, there's this remarkable statement here in Joshua 21:43 where the text reads: Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there (Joshua 21:43). And then it goes on, and in verse 45 it says, Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass (Joshua 21:45).And so, the book of Joshua, by showing Israel conquering the land and then apportioning the land among the tribes, it's being emphasized that the Lord is giving them exactly what he promised to give them, and he's bringing to pass everything that he said he would do. And in that way it's almost putting the ball in Israel's court, so to speak. It's putting the onus now on Israel to uphold their end of the bargain and to bring the character and likeness of God to bear on all they do in the land, and then as they seek to expand the borders of the land given to them, they're to make God known. And so, in this way, I think the book of Joshua is showing the Lord as a faithful member of the covenant. He's a covenant-keeper by bringing his word to pass.

Answer by Dr. James M. Hamilton

Dr. James M. Hamilton is Professor of Biblical Theology at Southern Seminary. Before teaching at Southern Seminary, Dr. James Hamilton served as assistant professor of biblical studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Houston campus and was the preaching pastor at Baptist Church of the Redeemer.