land flowing with milk and honey

Rejoicing in God’s Goodness #5

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you (Deuteronomy 26:11 KJV).

Israel is to “rejoice in every good thing which the LORD [her] God hath given unto [her].” What are these “good things?”

The offering in the context of today’s Scripture (verses 1-11) is spoken as though the nation Israel has already defeated the inhabitants of the Promised Land. It assumes that the Israelites will go in, conquer all their enemies, and enjoy the fruits of the land God has given to the fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God through Moses presents Israel residing in the Promised Land as a fact, even though they will not actually enter it and fight those peoples until Joshua assumes leadership (after Moses dies). As before, God believes that He will give Israel the victory. He expects Israel to believe Him, and to worship Him by offering to Him that fruit when they do arrive in that land of Canaan.

Some 40 years prior, remember again, the Jews had complained that they were unable to enter the Promised Land and enjoy its plenteous food supply. The giants living in the land were just too powerful for them to overcome in war. (Of course, Israel overlooked the fact that God had just vanquished the mighty Egyptian armies, thousands of trained soldiers, using just the Red Sea!) With this new generation of Jews in today’s Scripture, they are to go into the land, dispossess it, and rejoice in God’s goodness. They did not deserve that harvest of enormous fruits, but God had simply given them because of His grace.

“And [JEHOVAH God] hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey. And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God: And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is Jesus Christ God’s ‘one and only Son’ or ‘only begotten Son?’

Rejoicing in God’s Goodness #4

Monday, March 6, 2017

And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you (Deuteronomy 26:11 KJV).

Israel is to “rejoice in every good thing which the LORD [her] God hath given unto [her].” What are these “good things?”

Forty years earlier, just before entering the land of Canaan, the Jews’ ancestors had spied it out. Numbers chapter 13 explains those scouts actions’: “[23] And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs. [24] The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence. [25] And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. [26] And they … came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. [27] And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.”

Sadly, verses 28-33 say that 10 of the 12 scouts voiced fear: they doubted Almighty God would give Israel victory over the land’s gigantic residents! Disbelieving and discouraged Israel was thus banned from entering that wonderful land of God. Now, in the context of today’s Scripture, that unbelieving generation has died. A new generation of Israelites will go in and possess that land. That expression “floweth with milk and honey” (Numbers 13:27) appears with today’s Scripture—“And [God] hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey” (verse 9). Canaan is an agricultural paradise: its grape clusters require two men to carry them!

Now, with the firstfruits offering of today’s Scripture, God wants Israel to admit He gave them the military victory to enjoy that fruit of that land….

Rejoicing in God’s Goodness #3

Sunday, March 5, 2017

And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you (Deuteronomy 26:11 KJV).

Israel is to “rejoice in every good thing which the LORD [her] God hath given unto [her].” What are these “good things?”

The special offering delineated in today’s Scripture and its context serves to instruct Israel concerning a most basic principle. Notice: “[1] ….the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance… [2] …thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee,…. [3] …I am come unto the country which the LORD sware unto our fathers for to give us…. [8] And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders: [9] And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey. [10] …I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me…. [11] …rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee….”

Friend, do you see the constant emphasis on what the LORD (JEHOVAH God) has done for Israel? By offering this sacrifice, the Jews are reminded of God’s provisions for them. They had not gained that land by their own efforts. Simply in His grace God had promised it to their father Abraham many centuries earlier (Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 13:14-17; Genesis 15:1-21).

Additionally, their father Jacob and his family were ready to die of starvation in Canaan, but God had sent Joseph into Egypt ahead of time so Israel (a tribe of 70 souls) would migrate southward and survive (Genesis chapters 46-47). Eventually, they became Egyptian slaves. The Israelites could not deliver themselves from harsh Egyptian bondage. Forty years prior to today’s Scripture, Almighty God had given their ancestors victory over Egypt and Satan. They had refused to enter the Promised Land and died in the wilderness. However, now, in today’s Scripture, 40 years later, this new generation of Jews can enter God’s land, where Abraham had once lived, to now enjoy its bountiful harvests….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How is Joshua a high priest in Zechariah 3:8 if…?

Aged, But Strong, in the LORD

Thursday, February 5, 2015

“…I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in” (Joshua 14:10,11 KJV).

How could Caleb, despite his old age, be so bold?

Recall Israel’s rebellion entering the Promised Land with Moses (Numbers chapters 13 and 14). For 40 days, 12 Jewish spies scouted its landscapes. Ten spies reported back to Moses with a very negative report: “We cannot overcome the giants in the land.” They contradicted JEHOVAH’S promise to give them victory over all Gentile inhabitants. However, two spies—Joshua and Caleb—believed God’s Word.

Numbers chapter 14 continues: “[6] And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh… rent their clothes: [7] And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. [8] If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. [9] Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” Israel still refused to enter Canaan, and thus wandered in the desert for 40 years!

Fast-forward to today’s Scripture. Caleb is now 85 years old… and still ready to fight the Gentiles to possess the land that God has given him! The verse following today’s Scripture reveals Caleb, despite agedness, is confident that the LORD will give him victory! “Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.”

Like Caleb, a wise man will rely on his Almighty LORD, not his weakly flesh!

A Land Flowing With Milk and Honey #2

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

“And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey” (Numbers 14:7,8 KJV).

God had been faithful in delivering Israel from Egypt. Now, He would bring her into an exceeding good land.” But, Israel doubted God, and wanted to send 12 spies to explore that land. After 40 days of exploring Canaan, the spies return to Israel’s camp. Today’s Scripture records their confession before Moses and Israel.

Canaan, the Promised Land, was abounding with food and water, high agricultural productivity (“a land flowing with milk and honey”—the presence of milk-producing animals implied grasses and other vegetation; honey indicated pollinating creatures like bees). The spies showed Israel the large grape cluster, the pomegranates, and the figs they had collected in Canaan (Numbers 13:21-27). The 12 spies confirmed that God had indeed given them a very great land, but 10 spies feared military defeat by the Gentiles dwelling therein, so Israel refused to enter (Numbers 13:28–14:11). Thus, God, in His righteous anger, punished them via the 40-year wilderness wandering (Deuteronomy 1:21-ff.).

Today, the Promised Land does not exhibit the beauty it had in Moses’ day. It is desolate and barren. But, that will change at Christ’s Second Coming and the following earthly kingdom. The Promised Land will be restored, and the curse of sin will be broken (Isaiah 51:3; Joel 3:17-21, Micah 4:1-3; et al.).

According to Amos 9:11-15, “[Israel will] build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God” (verses 14,15).

One day, Israel will eternally dwell in her land, “a land flowing with milk and honey.”

A Land Flowing With Milk and Honey #1

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

“And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey…” (Exodus 3:8 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, the LORD in the burning bush tells Moses that He will deliver the nation Israel from Egyptian slavery and bring them into the Promised Land, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” The Bible uses this expression 20 times to describe Israel’s land (Palestine). What does it mean?

By the time of Numbers chapter 13, Israel has been delivered from Egypt and is sending 12 spies to explore Palestine. Moses instructs these spies: “And [see] what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes” (verse 20).

In verse 23, the spies arrive at the brook of Eshcol, and cut down a grape cluster (“Eshcol” is Hebrew for “grape cluster;” verse 24). This one cluster of grapes is so enormous that two men must carry it on a pole! The spies also collect figs and pomegranates.

After 40 days of scouting, the spies return to Moses and Israel’s camp and show them Canaan’s fruit: “And they told him [Moses], and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it(verse 27). “And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey (Numbers 14:7,8).

Deuteronomy 11:10-12 and Deuteronomy 31:20 also confirm that “flowing with milk and honey” indicated Canaan was a land of high agricultural productivity (pollination, green grass, flowering trees, water resources, abundant food, et cetera). Just think…rebellious Israel refused to go in!