“To your descendants I will give this land…Then Abram journeyed on.” –Genesis 12:7, 9
As Abram passed through the land of Canaan, God promised him that his descendants would inherit that land. However, the Canaanites were still living in the land at the time (Gn 12:6). Abram then continued his journey south many miles more to the desert of the Negeb. Abram got the promise but no land yet.
Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land, but they didn’t possess it right away. God told them they wouldn’t occupy the land in one year; they were not numerous enough. God displaced the peoples who resided there by sending hornets to drive them out, little by little. Otherwise, the Lord said, the added responsibilities would prove too much for them (see Ex 23:28-30; Dt 7:22). So God allowed the Canaanites to stay awhile, to maintain and upgrade the land and dwellings until the time the Israelites could take over.
Abram and Joshua both experienced delays. As Joshua discovered, sometimes a delay is a result of God’s kindness. As Abram learned, sometimes a delay is for the benefit of others, not us, and we are to patiently bear it so others we may never even meet can be blessed through us (Gn 12:2-3).
Is there a delay in your life that you can’t understand? Allow God to use it to work all things to the good (Rm 8:28).
PRAYER: Father, when You tell me “not yet,” may I always trust that You have “already” given me all that I need.
PROMISE: “The measure with which you measure will be used to measure you.” –Mt 7:2
PRAISE: Betsy wondered why she had to go to the nursing home in her nineties, then ministered to the eighty-year-olds.