February 24, 2023
“But if you don’t drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, those you allow to remain will become thorns in your eyes and in your sides; they will harass you in the land...”
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“But if you don’t drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, those you allow to remain will become thorns in your eyes and in your sides; they will harass you in the land where you will live. And what I planned to do to them, I will do to you.” Numbers 33:55-56
The image of the “promised land” can mean many different things to people. I was raised in the South. In many ways, the South always felt like my “promised land.” When I lived in Southern California, my wife and I watched “Gone with the Wind” every New Year’s Day. My wife made fried chicken and biscuits! Grief is good for the soul but bad for the waistline.
For others, the “promised land” might be a relationship, a job, or anything so elusive that only God could provide it.
Have you ever considered the “promised land” as a metaphor for your own body? Consider that when God created man, he simply took a handful of dust and breathed life into it. We are, in essence, God-breathed land.
All of mankind is born into sin. Because of Adam’s sin, all flesh is corrupted. Before people enter into a saving relationship with Jesus, they are ruled by sinful fleshly desires. For the believer, those desires represent the “former inhabitants” of our “land.”
Jesus bridged the gap between man’s sinful flesh & God’s holy standard by supplying what we lack in terms of holiness, a difference of 100%. When Jesus suffered on the cross, He paid our sin debt, and His resurrection proved the eternal value of His sacrifice. Furthermore, He is alive today and offers salvation (deliverance) free of charge to all who will turn from their sin and receive salvation.
For a moment, imagine salvation in terms other than “Heaven.” Imagine deliverance as an opportunity to live life here on earth abundantly. Being “born again” is much the same idea as being delivered back to our “flesh,” but now as new creations. Same old flesh, brand new “you” inhabiting it, along with the Holy Spirit and Jesus as roommates.
Once delivered back into our “land,” it then becomes our job to drive out those “former inhabitants.” The old sinful attitudes and actions cannot remain. They will torment us unless we destroy them completely.
Notable is how, when Jesus paid our sin penalty, He experienced the crown of thorns in His brow and the spear in His side, images from today’s chapter. Our iniquities were truly laid upon Messiah Jesus! (Isaiah 53) We have been delivered. Now, fight to drive out those former inhabitants!
©Steve Wiggins 2021