This chapter presents the fulfillment of God’s promise to the children of Israel. The land of Caanan now belongs to Israel. While all the Caananites were not driven out yet, those that did remain lived in less cultivated areas and were too weak and intimidated to rise up and fight Israel, but rather they were under heavy tribute. This is not an inconsistency in the Scripture where God promised to drive out all the Caananites, but these people remain only as a result of Israel’s cowardess and slothfulness. Plus, in Exodus 23:30 we read God’s promise was literally to drive them out “little by little.” Eventually, in David’s era they are all driven out. So, God’s promise was fulfilled completely, though it seemed to have been delayed by God.
45 All of the good promises that the LORD had given Israel came true.
And so it is with us. God is faithful to His word. He will fulfill His promises in your life, including the promise of our spiritual Caanan, heaven, though it may seem delayed.
Something else I find interesting in this chapter is the situation with the Levites. Since they were wholly consecrated to serving God, they had no territory – God was their inheritance. Yet all the other tribes tithed produce to them. In this chapter, 48 cities were also assigned to them. Thirteen were for them to “dwell” in, but they were scattered among the tribes (nine in Judah, three in Naphtali, and four in each of the other tribes’ lands) to keep knowledge and service to God alive. Also, six of these cities were set apart as “cities of refuge” (places that offered asylum for those who unintentionally slain another).
Lord, I am amazed by Your Word, and the way You fulfilled Your promises to the children of Israel. Reading in this chapter about the Levites has prompted me to pray for my pastor. Lord, meet his needs and those of his family. Pour out Your blessings as You did for the priests we read about in today’s chapter.