Thursday, March 11, 2010

Boundaries

My pondering today is over the boundaries of the land God promised His people. He promised it to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Then very explicitly to Moses.

Here is the passage:

Boundaries of the Land
Numbers 34:1 "Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give these instructions to the Israelites: When you come into the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your special possession, these will be the boundaries. 3 The southern portion of your country will extend from the wilderness of Zin, along the edge of Edom. The southern boundary will begin on the east at the Dead Sea.[i] 4 It will then run south past Scorpion Pass[j] in the direction of Zin. Its southernmost point will be Kadesh-barnea, from which it will go to Hazar-addar, and on to Azmon. 5 From Azmon the boundary will turn toward the Brook of Egypt and end at the Mediterranean Sea.[k]

6 “Your western boundary will be the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.

7 “Your northern boundary will begin at the Mediterranean Sea and run east to Mount Hor, 8 then to Lebo-hamath, and on through Zedad 9 and Ziphron to Hazar-enan. This will be your northern boundary.

10 “The eastern boundary will start at Hazar-enan and run south to Shepham, 11 then down to Riblah on the east side of Ain. From there the boundary will run down along the eastern edge of the Sea of Galilee,[l] 12 and then along the Jordan River to the Dead Sea. These are the boundaries of your land.”

13 Then Moses told the Israelites, “This territory is the homeland you are to divide among yourselves by sacred lot. The Lord has commanded that the land be divided among the nine and a half remaining tribes. 14 The families of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh have already received their grants of land 15 on the east side of the Jordan River, across from Jericho toward the sunrise.”

So here is my puzzlement. During most of history the chosen people have not lived within all of this area. Even today, they only live in a fraction of it. And there are tens of millions of people committed to pushing them off the land into the sea.

Why?

I guess my bigger question is, "What is the relationship between God's promises and our experience in life?"

I guess all of faith lies in the answer to that question, and belief in that relationship!

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