“I am now going the way of all the earth, and you know with all your heart and all your soul that none of the good promises the LORD your God made to you has failed. Everything was fulfilled for you; not one promise has failed.” Joshua 23:14
Joshua spoke the above words to the children of Israel. He had served God well, and led the Israelites into the promised land. But alas, he knew his time was coming to an end. He himself said, “I am old, getting on in years…” And so, he was fortunate in that he could leave behind some words of wisdom for his fellow people. Before his body returned to the earth… ashes to ashes and dust to dust… he was able to say what was on his heart. See, the above was part of his farewell address. And farewell is a term you don’t hear too often in the modern age… “May you fare well until we meet again.” Perhaps it sounds a bit old fashioned, but in reality, it’s beautiful. Because farewell is really an opportunity to express good wishes before parting. Farewell is really the chance to say goodbye. Farewell is an ending… and the time to say something to someone who you may never see again. Fare ye well… And so, Joshua chose to do just that. And before he died, he reminded his people of God’s goodness. He reminded them that God keeps His promises.
Tonight, I was surrounded by people who didn’t get the chance to say “Farewell.” Because sadly, a man died too young… it was unexpected, and so, there were no good-byes. There were no last I love you’s. And there was no opportunity for this man to say what was on his heart and mind, had the opportunity presented for a farewell speech. And so, broken hearts abound.
But you know… God is close. So close. And His word is full of promise. It says: The LORD is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18), and, Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4). And Jesus Himself said He was sent to heal the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18). And as Joshua exhorted his own people, I shall exhort mine… For it’s true that none of the good promises the LORD God has made shall fail! Everything He said shall be fulfilled and not one promise shall fail!
See, God is close… so close. And He can hear hearts breaking all around tonight. But He’s the One who can piece each one back together again… for He created the heart. And it’s God, the maker of a million stars, who can fit a million broken hearts into His hand. Because He’s so near… that’s a promise.
And as for me, I shall bid ye farewell, until we meet again…