A couple of weeks ago, I was reading Deuteronomy while drying my hair before work. I had picked this particular book to read because in my mind, Deuteronomy is a quick overview of the first four books and the lesson that month for Children’s Church was on the Children of Israel. It was the perfect review before going to help teach the children. As I was reading, I came across Deuteronomy 6:10-11.
(10) And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildest not.
(11) And houses full of all good things, which thou filldest not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shall have eaten and be full. “My goodness!” I thought. “Wouldn’t it be nice to be one of the Children of Israel and just walk into a furnished house without having to build it myself?”
The thought of being given an earthly home and how special the Children of Israel must have felt was enough to derail me from my reading. Imagine it. Vineyards so full of grapes and fields so full of barley that you need help to harvest it all. Homes furnished without having to seek the country looking for precious metals to melt to make your candlesticks. A water source already established without you having to poke holes in the ground to find it yourself.
I spent quite a while thinking how nice it must have been, and if I’m being honest, I felt a pang of jealousy, too. As I was sitting there (still drying my hair) and thinking about the Children of Israel’s blessings that I had wished I had, I was reminded that we, as Christians, are promised the same thing—Heaven is the promised land. So many times in this world it feels like it’s all we can do to stay afloat. As far as I can see, absolutely no one will be handing me the keys to a furnished home in the near future and I wanted what the Children of Israel had. I wanted their blessing, but I had forgot they had struggles to work through before getting there.
If you focus on your own struggles and compare yourself to others, like so many of us do (myself included), it’s easy to overlook God’s love and the help He sends us. We may have a struggle to get through, a battle to fight, or a mountain to climb, but the promise at the end of it is worth more than we could ever imagine. Jesus tells us in the New Testament that He has gone away to prepare us a mansion in His heavenly home.
None of us deserve a spot in Heaven and we could not secure our place in Heaven on our own. But, it was His love, grace, and sacrifice that ensured we, too, will cross over into the land flowing with milk and honey, if we only repent of our sins, believe on Him, and live the life He has set before us. Sure, the Children of Israel received an earthly promise. And while many of us would like a fancy house and nice possessions, Earth is not our home.
If you keep reading through the Old Testament, you’ll see the Children of Israel lost their promise from time to time and had to repent and seek God to get their promise back. If we stay on the right track, once we reach Heaven and cross over into our promised land, there is no absolutely no way we’ll lose our promise. We’ll reside with our sweet Jesus for all eternity! Keep the faith— Cassi