As I was reading in the book of Genesis today God revealed something to me that I wanted to attempt to articulate into something substantive. First of all I will unashamedly admit that I believe that Old Testament Israel is a picture of the church today, and that we have much to learn from them. Secondly I may be the only one, but I certainly get tired of what appears to be a less than idealistic life on this earth for the Christian. Thirdly, this is not some great theological discourse.
Most of us are aware that God promised the land of Canaan to the Israelites, and that this promise began with Abraham and was eventually fully realized when Joshua lead the Israelites in the conquering of Canaan. This was a period of approximately 550 years!
Why so long?
Wasn’t Abraham in Canaan when God promised him the land? The answer is yes. (Genesis 12:7) So why did Abraham (Abram at this time) leave? Obviously, God knew that Abraham was not ready for his inheritance and sent him back into Egypt via the famine that overtook the land. If you look at the growth of Abraham’s family you will see that they very easily could have overtaken a long time before Joshua came and conquered the land, and if you think like I do you will believe there would have been a lot less heartache involved. Not only was Abraham in Canaan that time but he was also back in Canaan, at the time of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Following the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah Abraham wandered out of Canaan again to the land of the Philistines.
I won’t give you any more history but you can read the stories of the successors of Abraham; Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s offspring who became slaves in Egypt in Genesis 12-50. I’ll end this part by saying that God had a plan and that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and those that followed after were blessed because they were willing to submit to God’s plan.
Look at this!
Abraham and his immediate offspring did not inherit the land, but his nephew Lot did.
Isaac and his immediate offspring did not inherit the land, but his half-brother Ishmael did.
Jacob and his immediate offspring did not inherit the land, but his elder brother Esau did.
Why, and what is the point?
The Christians of today, myself included, want to be like Abraham and have the promise of a future inheritance, and yet we want to live like Lot, and believe that we should work hard to gain everything we can today.
We also want to be like Isaac, and know that thru us flows the greatest treasure in the world, Jesus Christ, but we want to live like Ishmael and rule the world today.
Then we want to live like Jacob and produce great fruit, but yet we act like Esau in that we only want to do what is convenient for us.
It’s coming, and we should be willing to wait!
Hold on because our inheritance is coming and this world can never compare to the glory that awaits us.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9