God “swore” (7650) He would “give” (5414) all of this land to Israel.
(Deuteronomy 1:8 KJV) Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.Set aside whether that refers to modern Israel or not. What I want to focus on is the nature of God’s “gifts”. Keep in mind that God’s gifts often, if not usually, if not always, have strings and conditions attached.
The land was there. The borders had been described. The promise had been given generations before and repeated. The conditions here were two fold. First, they needed to “go in”. God often lays out blessings for us but there is a requirement that we get moving. The promise of salvation is out there. I think it is pretty clear. Why? Because the general public is informed enough to mock it and turn away.
Second, the children of Israel had to “possess” (3423) the land. An interesting aspect of this word is that it can also mean “dispossess”. In order to claim the land they had to take it away from the people that lived there. That involved continued obedience. It involved struggle and fighting. It involved building and plowing. The milk and honey did not just appear on store shelves.
One balance that is always hard to find is between grace and obedience. Although God can do it all by Himself, witness creation, He has chosen to structure the world so that we need to get involved to make things complete.
What does God expect of you? What does He expect of me? I ask that second question a lot.
homo unius libri
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