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The Promised Land

Way back in Gen 13:15; God promises Abraham a certain area of land.

Gen 13:15; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever.

Now who are Abraham's descendents? How long is forever?

Abraham of course had two sons. Ishmael and Isaac. Modern day Arabs
consider themselves to be the descendents of Ishmael. Jews consider themselves
to be the descendents of Isaac.

This is repeated in Gen 15:18;

Gen 15:18; On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:

Now much of this land the Jews have never "owned". But the promise doesn't say just the Jews. It says all of Abraham's descendents. Even the Arab's. So if we count them, they have pretty much owned this land since... well... since Abraham.

Now somewhere Israel quit being a nation back in medieival times. There isn't really an exact date.
It just kind of "dissolved" over the centuries. What is really amazing about that, is that even though Israel
wasn't a "nation" during the next thousand years. The Jews never forgot their ancestry. All Jews, even today, know they are Jews. American Europeans often do not know whatnationality background they come from, even African Americans often do not know what part of Africa they are from. But Jews... always know.

If we look at the lineage of the Jews here for a second... Abraham... Isaac... Jacob.
By the time we get to Jacob, he and his family move to Egypt to avoid a severe famine in the land. This of course
is part of the stry of Joseph. Once again... the Jews do not inhabit this land.

All through the old testament... there is this phrase "the promised land". In fact where was Moses leading the Jews?
To the "promised land". The land promised to Abraham's descendents.

Gen 28:15; Gen 50:24; Exod 12:25; Numb 14:16; Deut 6:3; Deut 9:28; Deut 19:8; Deut 27:3; Josh 23:5; etc...

This is sometimes called Buelah, or Canaan, ..and eventually of course... Israel.

God always keeps His promises, but not always in the way we expect.

For example... even though Moses was leading the Jews to the "promised land". That generation of Jews never
actually made into the promised land.

Numb 14:16; .. I would like to look at why they didn't make it to the "promised land" for a bit.

... to be continued ...
Heb 4:1; Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.
Heb 4:2; For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
Heb 4:3; For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST," although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Heb 4:4; For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh [day]: "AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS";
Heb 4:5; and again in this [passage], "THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST."
Heb 4:6; Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,
Heb 4:7; He again fixes a certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS."
Heb 4:8; For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.
Heb 4:9; So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
Heb 4:10; For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.
Heb 4:11; Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through [following] the same example of disobedience.
Heb 4:12; For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Heb 4:13; And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Now God was with the Israelites the entire time after they left Egypt. He never "left them of forsook them" (This is also quoted in Hebrews)
But even though He was with them, they didn't make it to the promised land. The "promised land" or "the land of rest" (the Israelites were slaves in Egypt)
is often used as a metaphor for Heaven or the New Jerusalem. In fact that is exactly what the writer of Hebrews is doing here in Hebrews 4.

Why didn't they enter into the promised land? Because of their disobedience.

Part of this was Moses's disobedience ( Numb 20:11-12; ) in striking the rock instead of speaking to it.
This "rock" that the water of life flowed from... was a type of Christ. ( Isa 8:14; )

Another part of this disobedience was the golden calf. ( Exod 32; )

These people saw the evidence of God every day... a cloud over their heads in the day time, A light over their heads a t night.
Manna and quail from heaven. Their clothes and shoes didn't wear out during that entire 40 years. Not to mention the parting of the red sea.
But even though God rescued them from the bondage and slavery of Egypt. ( A metaphor for us being delivered from the slavery of sin)

They didn't make to the promised land... I would like to look at the disobedience that kept this from happening. some of it was less obvious than we think.

Also see Psalms 95:11;

It seems there is a land that is "promised" to us.... but disobedience can keep us from entering that "rest".
Heb 4:3; For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST," although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
There are only a few places in the Bible where God says "it is finished". Of course John 19:30; is probably the most quoted of those places.
But this verse says... "even though His works were finished" ...from the foundation of the world... they didn't enter His rest.
Obedience was still required.

Numb 20:12; But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”
Numb 20:13; Those were the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with the Lord, and He proved Himself holy among them.

Deut 9:5; It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Deut 9:6; “Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people.
Deut 9:7; Remember, do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord.
Deut 9:8; Even at Horeb you provoked the Lord to wrath, and the Lord was so angry with you that He would have destroyed you.

Of course if God "would" have destroyed them... then He would have broken His promise to Abraham.

I sometimes wonder if the agenda of the UN and the Palestinians trying to take the land in Israel is actually a cause of Satan trying to get God to "break His promise".

.. to be continued...

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