THIS SERIES: FREEDOM IS A JOURNEY
The desert was the testing ground; and eventually, a generation was found which was up to inhabiting this promised inheritance.
But first they had to remember.
When their ancestor Abraham was instructed to go and walk the length and breadth of this very land that would be their inheritance [Genesis 13: 14-18], he first pitched his tent near the great trees of Mamre, near Hebron. A nomad’s wealth was in his stock, and fat stock – fat with good eating, and fat with young—meant great prosperity; so in the Hebrew mind and language, prosperity and fruitfulness were often expressed as ‘fatness’. Mamre means ‘fatness’.
Before exploring his inheritance, Abraham set up camp in the ‘fat’ place and then he built an altar to worship the Lord. We read that Abraham had become wealthy ‘in livestock and in silver and gold’ [Genesis 13:2] in fulfilment of the Lord’s promise to bless him [Genesis 12:2-3]. It seems that Abraham was making a prophetic statement about the land that would be his inheritance, based on remembering what God had already done for him.
Hundreds of years later, after crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land, the Israelite leaders were commanded to take 12 stones from the middle of the river, one for each tribe, and build a memorial pile. These stones were to serve as a reminder to the generations to come of the great things the Lord had done for them.
This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that (they) would hold God in solemn reverence always.
[Joshua 4:24 MSG]
Like the previous generation of Israelites, so often we allow our faith and expectation to be eaten away by our perception of the things God hasn’t done, the prayers which haven’t been answered, the needs which we think haven't been met.
‘Remembering’ is metaphorically pitching our tents in the ‘fatness’ of His provision—and then building an ‘altar’ of praise and worship.
From that place, and that place only, can we explore and inhabit our Land of Rest.
THIS WEEK’S GRACE RHYTHM:
The ‘POWER OF THE CROSS’ webpage is a good place to start…
NEXT WEEK: THE LAND OF PROMISE
A land of fruitfulness and blessing waits for us…
GET IN TOUCH...
[Photo credits: Attila Janosi (oasis); Rowan Simpson (tent); Jeremy Thomas (cairn); Debbie Hudson (book);
John Schnobrich (typewriter) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
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