Peace & Blessings Beloved,
TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.
In the fifteenth post of our new Humble Servant Blog Series, Stories of the Bible, we're going to review The Promised Land, which can be found in the book of Numbers, as chronicled in chapters 33-34, & Joshua 1-24.
In the Bible, the term Promised Land refers to a specific region of land that God endowed to His chosen people, as part of their heritage. (Genesis 12, Genesis 26:3, Genesis 28:13) God first gave this pledge of land to Abraham saying, “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River.” He then reiterated the vow to Abraham’s descendants until the time came for His people to claim their inheritance.
The Promised Land was the geographic area God declared to give to his chosen people, the offspring of Abraham. The promised land was placed in ancient Canaan, on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea. Numbers 34:1-12 discusses the location of the Promised Land. Also, see Genesis 15:18, which says "On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”
The promised land of Canaan, eventually called Israel, was a fertile land with brooks and deep springs that gushed out into the valleys and hills. The rich soil produced wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, and olives. There, the Israelites would lack nothing.
Described in Scripture as a land flowing with milk and honey, the soil was rich for agriculture and shepherding, the mountains provided security and protection from the elements and their enemies, and the arid climate provided perfect conditions for livestock to thrive. (Exodus 3:17; Numbers 13:27, Deuteronomy 8:6-9).
The Lord God instructed Joshua to go about the business of taking the promised land as He desired to complete His promise of that land to their ancestors. While God instructed Joshua to be bold and fearless, because He would vanquish their enemies before them, He also reminded Joshua that everything was conditioned upon their faithfulness:
“Carefully obey all the law my servant Moses charged you to keep! Do not swerve from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful in all you do.”
Joshua gave the people three days notice to prepare to enter the promised land.
The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh were reminded of their promise to accompany their fellow tribes before they returned to their homes on the other side of the Jordan – and in so doing they acknowledged that their loyalty to Joshua as leader was the same as that given to Moses.
Joshua sent spies into Jericho and the Lord God guided them to the home of Rahab. Rahab lived along the fortified walls of Jericho as she was a prostitute. Rahab reported to them that everyone was terrified because of the news they had heard of God’s great power exercised for Israel.
Word came to the king that the spies had visited Rahab so soldiers demanded that she surrender them. She had hidden them on the roof but told the soldiers that she didn’t know they were enemy spies and that they had just left the city before the gates were closed – then encouraged them to chase after them.
Rahab challenged the spies to promise to protect her extended family because she had given them information and hidden them from the soldiers and they agreed. They did require her to mark her home with a red rope and to have her family gathered in her home so they would know whom to protect.
She let them down by a rope and instructed them to flee to the hills and hide for 3days until the soldiers gave up their search. They did so and then reported to Joshua who was thus assured that the Lord had given them the city.
Joshua, as instructed by the Lord God, instructed the people to follow the Ark that the priests carried, so the huge populace could see where to go, but to do so at a distance of 3,000 feet.
The people were to told to ritually consecrate themselves, meaning both a literal religious ritual described in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and an attitude of obedience and trust.
The Lord God informed Joshua that He would show the people that he, Joshua, was God’s chosen the same as Moses. He instructed Joshua to go ahead of the people and to wade into the water.
From there Joshua informed the people that they would know that God was going on ahead because when the priests entered the water it would part and create dry land for them to cross – even though the Jordan was at flood-level that time of year.
The priests did so and the whole nation crossed, then Joshua instructed that one elder from each of the 12 tribes select a stone from where the priests stood and bring them to Gilgal where the people rested on the other side. The piled stones were a remembrance of what God had done that day. Joshua also piled 12 stones in the Jordan where the priests stood.
When the priests left the Jordan it returned to it normal flood-stage flow.
I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.
May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.
Love you much.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!
P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.