Summary: Israel is literally the crossroads of the world in physical and spiritual ways.
1. A man went on vacation to the Holy Land with his wife and her mother. While in Israel, the mother-in-law died from a heart attack. The couple went to a local undertaker, who explained that they could either ship the body home which would cost more than $1500, or they could bury her right there in the Holy Land for only $150. The man said, "We'll ship her home. "Surprised, the undertaker responded, "Are you sure? That's an awfully big expense, and we can do a very nice burial here. "The man said, "Look, 2000 years ago they buried a guy here and three days later He rose from the dead. I just can't take that chance."
2. The land of Israel is special to God. Battles in the Middle East today reflect the ancient times
3. My Before and after thoughts of Israel -- 10 slides
4. The Land of Canaan (Map) -- which became the Land of Israel -- was a connection to three continents -- Africa to the South; Europe to the North; Asia to the East; with the Mediterranean to the West
5. Controlling this area would influence much of the world
6. Joshua 1.1-5
I. The Land was Special to God
A. It was a Promised Land (to Abraham and His Seed)
1. The Dimensions -- Genesis 15.18
18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river EuphraŒtes, 19 the land of the KenŒites, the KenŒizzites, the KadŒmonites, 20 the Hittites, the PerŒizzites, the RephŒaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the GirŒgashites and the JebŒusites."
2. The Specifics -- Genesis 17.8
And I will give to you, and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
3. The Blessings -- Exodus 3.8
and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the PerŒizzites, the Hivites, and the JebŒusites.
a. Grazing Land for herds
B. It was a Protected Land -- Leviticus 25.23
The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine;
for you are strangers and sojourners with me.
1. It Belongs to God (like everything else)
2. On Loan to Israel
a. Not because of their goodness
b. Because of the sinfulness of the Canaanites
THE PRESENCE OF HIS LOVE
The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he'd told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her cane against her leg.
It had been a year since Susan, thirty-four, became blind and was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. Once a fiercely independent woman, Susan now felt condemned by this terrible twist of fate to become a powerless, helpless burden on everyone around her.
"How could this have happened to me?" she would plead, her heart knotted with anger. But no matter how much she cried or ranted or prayed, she knew the painful truth her sight was never going to return. And all she had to cling to was her husband Mark.
Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all of his heart. Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there? She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. Mark volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city. At first, this comforted Susan and fulfilled Mark's need to protect his sightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task. Soon, however, Mark realized that this arrangement wasn't working - it was hectic, and costly.
Susan is going to have to start taking the bus again, he admitted to himself. Susan was horrified at the idea of taking the bus again. "I'm blind!" she responded bitterly. "How am I supposed to know where I'm going? I feel like you're abandoning me." Mark's heart broke to hear these words, but he knew what had to be done. He promised Susan that each morning and evening he would ride the bus with her, for as long as it took, until she got the hang of it. And that is exactly what happened.