May 25, 2018

Numbers 34:1–9 (NLT) — 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. 4 It will then run south past Scorpion Pass 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. 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.

God promised to give Israel all the land mentioned in the above verses. His purpose for them was that they were to rid the land of the unbelieving Canaanites. However Israel never possessed all of the Promised Land. It was mostly because of their unbelief in God being able to help them get rid of the Canaanites.

Joshua 15:63 (NLT) — 63 But the tribe of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites, who lived in the city of Jerusalem, so the Jebusites live there among the people of Judah to this day.

Joshua 16:10 (NLT) — 10 They did not drive the Canaanites out of Gezer, however, so the people of Gezer live as slaves among the people of Ephraim to this day.

Joshua 17:12–13 (NLT) — 12 But the descendants of Manasseh were unable to occupy these towns because the Canaanites were determined to stay in that region. 13 Later, however, when the Israelites became strong enough, they forced the Canaanites to work as slaves. But they did not drive them out of the land.

The Canaanites were more determined to live in the land than the Israelites were.  The enemy only gives up what he has to. It was easier for the Israelites to just make them slaves. This however was not the will of God for them. Could not and did not should not be part of the Christians vocabulary. Nothing is impossible with God. Remember all of the miracles he performed in Egypt and in the Wilderness? He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Apparently when things got a little tough they forgot all about the powerful God they had and they let mere human beings defeat them!

Israel was supposed to be different from the idol worshiping Canaanites but because they didn’t wipe them out they themselves soon began to worship the gods of the Canaanites and God expelled them from the land.

We are called to be different from our unbelieving neighbors, friends and co-workers.

1 Peter 2:9 (NLT) — 9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

What we do and say on Sunday must impact us for the rest of the week. Too many people are just ‘Sunday only’ Christians and the rest of the week they are not identifiable as people of God but have mingled in with the ‘Canaanites’. Our mouths sound the same as gossip, slander, complaining and foul language pour forth. Our actions are the same as we live for pleasure and the accumulation of stuff so that we might live a life of comfort instead of commitment. We care more about our reputation and career than we about the purpose that God had called us to. Our days are so full of running here, going there, doing this and doing that, so much so that God really isn’t factored into our day much at all. We barely have time to even snack on the Word or fellowship with the Holy Spirit because we have other things to do. I know ‘Ouch’.

And like Israel we don’t possess all of which was promised to us by God. God has promised us power to be his witnesses and yet a lot of the times our mouths remain eerily silent while the world around us shouts their beliefs in our ears. God has promised us his peace and yet we worry about tomorrow, or if the bills are going to be paid, or if our kids will ever receive Jesus or what the doctor’s report might say. He promised we would bear fruit through his Holy Spirit and yet we seem quite satisfied with salvation and really not too concerned about growing and maturing in our faith. Our pursuit of holiness, faithfulness and love has been reduced to a halting crawl.

Ah but there is good news;) Today is a new day. Today we can have a fresh new start. Today we can begin to take land that we have given away to the enemy. Today we can fellowship with the Holy Spirit and call on Him to help us be the people of God. Today we can repent of our ‘Canaanite’ ways and follow the Lord. Even when we are not faithful our God is faithful. Even when we are bad our God is good. Even when we are unforgiving our God forgives. Even when we are unloving our God is love.

2 Corinthians 13:14 (NLT) — 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Be Inspired Hilltop!