Monday, November 6, 2017

Costly Promised Land

Costly Promised Land
November 6, 2017
Numbers 13:28 "But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. . ."

Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt and they wandered desert for 40 years. They were on their way to a land called the Promised Land, but it took them 40 years to make a few days' trip. They were disobedient, stubborn, selfish, and insolent, which is why it took so long. The Lord disciplined them, then finally brought them to the entrance to the Promised Land. There was a caveat, though. Someone else was living in their Promised Land. Recall that the Promised Land got its name because it was sworn to Abraham hundreds of years earlier, a true promise. The Lord said He would give Abraham and His descendants this Promised Land, free of charge. It had been years since anyone had seen the Promised Land, only heard about it in stories. Now, they were there, at the gateway, ready to live the life God had for them.

Moses told them to go scope out the land before they just rushed in and attempted to take what was rightfully there. There was now a problem. Since they had wandered in the desert for 40 years (not to mention the time they were in slavery), a people group had not only taken root in the land, but were flourishing. No problem. They were told they would live in houses they had not built, and harvest crops they had not planted. This was foretold. Someone else had done all the work for them, the people who had taken root and were flourishing in the land. They scoped out the Promised Land and it was now going to cost them something. They were being given the land by the Lord, but it was going to cost them dearly. The Lord predicted all of this; none of it came as a shock to Him. The Children of Israel however, were still themselves. They saw the people who lived there, in their new land, and they became fearful of the cost. They had come this far and yet were willing to forego their Promised Land.

The cost of entering the Promised Land was not a battle with the inhabitants of the land, though that was inevitable. That was not an issue for the Lord; He saw that coming and knew He'd have to fight them off. That cost was already paid for. The Lord showed them time and time again how He fought their battles for them. This battle seemed bigger, though, the cost seemed higher. The cost of entering the Promised Land was trust. The Children of Israel were going to have to trust the Lord beyond all measure, that He was going to carry them through the hard times, the soon coming battles, to take possession of the Promise. It would require trust and faith in the One True God. The Promised Land was a given, but they still had to walk forward in faith.

As a child of God, there is a cost to following Him into all He has promised for you and for me. That cost is trust, trust that He will be there, trust that He will help you though the difficult times, trust that He will bring you through victoriously. You've probably missed out on a few Promised Lands because you were fearful just like the Israelites. Sometimes it feels easier to shrink back than walk forward in faith to take possession of your promise. The benefits of the Promised Land are amazing, but the trust required to get it is costly. Will you trust the Lord? Or will you forego your Promised Land?  

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Genesis 12:1-9, Numbers 13

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