Saturday Spotlight: The Promised Land

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Then they rejected the pleasant land, because they did not believe God’s promise. Psalm 106:24

 

Who would reject a chance to live in a pleasant land? According to Exodus, the Hebrew nation did. God promised Abraham that He would give the land of Canaan, a rich and fertile land, to Abraham’s descendants.  God renewed this promise with the patriarchs of Israel generation after generation. Moses finally led the Hebrew nation out of slavery in Egypt, after a lengthy trek through the desert, to the promised land of Canaan. When they arrived, they sent spies to investigate the land and found that it was indeed, rich, lush with produce and other crops. But some of the spies told the Hebrews that they were not strong enough to contend with the people already living in Canaan. So they “rejected the pleasant land” because they were afraid. And why were the afraid? Because they did not believe God’s promise.

 

Who would reject a chance to live in a pleasant land? How about us? Have you ever held back from opportunities God had in mind for you because you were afraid? I have. Coincidentally, the one that comes to mind right now also involves a move. When I met my husband, he was living in another state. When we got engaged, I told him flat out that relocating was not an option for me. Too many unknowns and disruptions made me uncomfortable. He answered, “I thought you asked God for guidance before making decisions.” He had me there. So I began praying and sure enough, God opened my heart and I became willing to move out of my comfort zone. We began our married life together in the promised land of Pennsylvania. We actually only lived there for a year or so, but I have no doubt that was part of God’s plan for me. A “chance” encounter with a stranger I met in Pennsylvania marked a turning point in my writing career. Inspired by her courage to pursue her own artistic endeavors, I made a commitment to pursue my writing by joining a writers group. That encounter had a direct bearing on the course of my writing career. Had I not trusted God enough to follow where He led me, I might not be writing this—or anything else—today.

 

Prayer: Praise to God, who keeps his promises.

 

Reflection:  How can trusting God to keep his promises lead you to a “pleasant land” today?

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Meditations

But Jesus answered “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’” (Matthew 4:4)

 

All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.

 

It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.

 

I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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