Summary: How God’s promised land applies to our lives, past, present and future. How God works with us even when we fail.
Waiting for the Promised Land
One of the reoccurring themes in the Bible is that there is a place called the Promised Land. When we use the phrase Promised Land we are usually synonymous with the geographical place called Israel, but it can be so much more.
A Land of Promise
The first land a person might see as a promised land is the Garden of Eden. We see it in Genesis 2:8, “Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.” We understand the Garden of Eden to be a beautiful place crafted by the hand of God.
This was the sinless place. Eden is the spot where sin did not stand between God and man. Eden was never called the Promised Land, but it is the land every person longs to enter, the land where we can speak directly with God and live under the hand of His continual blessing. Eden did not last long in Genesis 3:23 we read, “So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”
This first promised land is now only a written memory, but it is also a picture of a promise. Genesis 3 points to man’s exile from the Garden and the Tree of Life, Revelation 22 speaks of a coming time when Jesus says believers will again have the right to the Tree of Life.
Another Land of Promise
The second promised land shows up in Genesis chapter 12,
1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.
This Promised Land was a land God was going to show Abraham.
A Great Nation is a land of security,
A place where he would have a great name, which is a land of success.
A place where God’s blessing is upon him and curses were on his enemies.
It was also a place where all people would be blessed.
The first land of promise, Eden was described by its beautiful and Divinely planted foliage. This second land of promise is defined by its Divinely blessed people.
If you are a student of the Bible or even just a student of life, you know these two lands would be a great place to be. A land where our work is rewarding, money is never an issue and friends are abundant and happy. A place where bad people are punished and good ones are praised. A land like this is Thomas More’s Utopia, Don Quixote’s chivalry, James Hilton’s Shangri-La, Dorothy’s Kansas, Columbus’ New World or the Puritans finding their religious freedom. A land where dreams come true. Why would God give us the picture and the promise of a land we can only dream about? He didn’t.
The Promised Land is the land of God’s making, we are the ones who developed and settled other places. God made Eden, Adam failed to keep it. God gave Abraham and his descendants a land and they only took part of it. According to the last 3 verses of Chapter 15, the land God gave Abraham would today would encompass Israel, Syria, Jordan and parts of Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. But, Abraham failed to take it.
Our Land of Promises
Likewise God has made promises to us. Spiritual and physical promises, like Ezekiel 34:26, “I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” Today we are living in the wealthiest and most powerful nation the world has ever known. We may also be the most dissatisfied and quarrelsome nation the world has ever had. For eight years, we listened as Democrats cried, “We have got to get Bush out of the Whitehouse, before he ruins the nation.” Now for six months we have listened to the Republicans saying, “We have got to get rid of Obama before he converts us to Socialism.”
Here’s a quick Bible history lesson to help you the next time you are wondering which political party will lead us to the Promised Land.