Daily Thoughts from Numbers: God’s Big Purposes

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the people of Israel, and say to them, When you enter the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan as defined by its borders), your south side shall be from the wilderness of Zin alongside Edom, and your southern border shall run from the end of the Salt Sea on the east. And your border shall turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim, and cross to Zin, and its limit shall be south of Kadesh-barnea. Then it shall go on to Hazar-addar, and pass along to Azmon. And the border shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and its limit shall be at the sea.

“For the western border, you shall have the Great Sea and its coast. This shall be your western border.

“This shall be your northern border: from the Great Sea you shall draw a line to Mount Hor. From Mount Hor you shall draw a line to Lebo-hamath, and the limit of the border shall be at Zedad. Then the border shall extend to Ziphron, and its limit shall be at Hazar-enan. This shall be your northern border.

“You shall draw a line for your eastern border from Hazar-enan to Shepham.  And the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain. And the border shall go down and reach to the shoulder of the Sea of Chinnereth on the east. And the border shall go down to the Jordan, and its limit shall be at the Salt Sea. This shall be your land as defined by its borders all around.”

Moses commanded the people of Israel, saying, “This is the land that you shall inherit by lot, which the LORD has commanded to give to the nine tribes and to the half-tribe. For the tribe of the people of Reuben by fathers’ houses and the tribe of the people of Gad by their fathers’ houses have received their inheritance, and also the half-tribe of Manasseh. The two tribes and the half-tribe have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan east of Jericho, toward the sunrise.”  (Numbers 34:1-15 ESV)

God does not leave the people any guess work regarding just what territory they can call their own and in fact it belongs to Him and they are tenants on His land.  The ESV Study Bible note remarks: “In fact, Israel never occupied all this territory—it represents the Promised Land, not the subsequently occupied land, of Israel.”

Israel never had faith in this first phase of occupation to fully dispossess the nations of Canaan.  In the reign of Solomon this was nearly all encompassed in Israel or at least parts still occupied by other nations paid tribute to Israel and her king.

What are the borders God has given you and me?  What does He want us to accomplish and are we even close?  His dream and purpose for us is big.

The secret of spiritual victory is saying yes to God. William E. Nelson

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