Possessing the covenant and your faith

It is an appalling scene these days witnessing the atrocities against Israeli Jews and the reaction of demonstrations, killings and hostilities acted out against Jews around the world. From Turkey to Iran to Saudi Arabia and all their vassal states, the message is of “Free Palestine” where the Jewish people will be eliminated from the earth and a Palestinian state will be established with Jerusalem as its capitol. How can people fall in line with such unthinkable evils? As Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” We are tested of justice and faith.

The feud over the land has its roots in the schism between the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael. And it will be decided once and for all upon the return of Christ. Abraham had received two promises from God, both mentioned five times—the first being the covenant of the land, God told Abraham that all the land of Canaan would be his in Genesis 12:7; 13:14-17;15:7; 15:18-21; 17:7-8. The second promise was that his descendants would be numerous, also stated five times in Genesis 12:2; 13:16; 15:5 17:4-5; 23:17. These promises were given to Abraham and his descendants as an “everlasting possession.”  However, Abraham owned no land until he buys the cave at Makhpelah upon Sarah’s death, and has only one son, Isaac (Ishmael not being the bearer of the covenant).

These two events are significant in that Abraham has to undergo an intense bargaining process to buy a small piece of land (the haggling is still going on to this day). Yet, Abraham is persistent in wanting to own the land outright.  It is the only part of the Promised Land that He would possess in his lifetime, yet he trusted God, “For he was looking forward to a city with permanent foundations, of which the architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:8-10).”  Abraham is the consummate example of faith— “Trusting/faith is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).” By the time Moses led the Israelites to the promised land, Canaan, the land God covenanted to the descendants of Abraham, was occupied, at least in part, by the descendants of Noah’s son Ham as well as Ishmael and Esau.

Point is, the God-given land to the Israelites had to be possessed, something that didn’t happen in Abraham’s lifetime. Abraham, however, had faith that God was true to his word. Fast forward to today. The land’s possession is under constant challenge. It is so because the Israelites historically have been unable to keep the precepts of God in order to maintain possession of the land in its fullness (Deuteronomy 28). The world and faith are warring factions. The covenant land and faith. In our lives, we also have the covenant of Christ’s promise of salvation justified by faith. Let us put aside the hindrances of the world that may prevent the full possession of the promise!

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Bill Wilson