Today’s Reading: Numbers 34-36
Today’s Reflection: Numbers 34:1-2
1) The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2) “Command the people of Israel, and say to them, When you enter the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan as defined by its borders).
As God prepared Israel to enter the Promised Land He took great care to clearly define the borders of Canaan. This may seem to be a trivial thing, but consider that the Promised Land was to be taken from the pagan nations already occupying it. Clearly God could repossess any land He chose and give it to whomever He chose. God could have given Israel the whole region if He’d wanted. But God set out specific limits for the territory given to the children of Israel.
God created Adam and Eve and gave them dominion over all the earth (Genesis 1:28). He only withheld one thing from them: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). This was a boundary. A limit. A border.
God always seems to be setting boundaries for man. His instructions. His commandments. The physical limitations He sets on us. The world itself, which is only so large, with only so much land and water, and with travel to other planets a virtual impossibility. Our time is a boundary: we only have so many days, weeks and years of life (Genesis 6:3; Psalm 90:10). There are borders that limit pretty much every aspect of our lives.
But so much of our world today is attempting to push past boundaries—and acts as though this must be a good thing. Science, technology, morality, mortality, medicine, philosophy, politics, sexuality, even religion and spirituality. In all of these areas and more mankind is constantly challenging values, beliefs, even the laws of nature themselves.
So what happens when these efforts push us past the borders God sets for us, as they often do?
Well from Adam and Eve’s example we know that going past God’s borders can only lead to disaster. And we can’t forget that the first being to think of going beyond the boundaries God had set for them was Lucifer (Ezekiel 28:14-15; Isaiah 14:12-15).
So God’s borders are for us. We hear ‘border’ or ‘boundary’ and we think restriction. We think we’re being denied something. But what if we’re being protected? What if what we’re being kept from is something that would only hurt us? What if, in fact, the only joy we can truly find is within the borders God has drawn for us? Our very own personal Promised Land?
So the borders God creates for us are actually meant for our benefit, for our good. But it is up to us to submit to His restrictions. If we do, we will find it is only within God’s borders that we can find the blessings He has for us.
Psalms 23:1-3 –1) The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2) He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3) He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.