Sunday, July 10, 2011

Missing Out on Milk and Honey

In the Bible, the Promise Land was flowing with "milk and honey." As a nutritionist, I say "everything in moderation"; so my healthy promise land would consist of fruits and vegetables with that milk --skim. As an average woman, my promise land would have been flowing with milk and chocolate chip cookies or Oreo Blizzards from Dairy Queen. Ha, what about you? This is not really a deep theological question, I am just trying to get your little imagination working!

Why milk and honey? This promised combination was first introduced in Exodus 3:17-18ish when God promised the Israelites that he would, "to bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, a land, "flowing with milk and honey." And they will listen to your voice....." Ok so fast forward to Deuteronomy 1:25 where scripture cross references us, and it says, "And they (twelve men sent to the Valley of Eschol) took in their hands some of the fruit of the land and brought it down to us, and brought us word again and said, 'It is good land that the Lord our God is giving us." So it wasn't in a literal sense, Hehe, my imagination has these men coming up with their hands all stuck to milk bottles (BAH! Sorry, early morning, kinda loopy!) So basically, the milk and honey represents fruit, land that is prosperous and well....promising! Now you know the rest of the story, the Isralites refuse to enter into this promise land because they are fearful of the giants and fortified cities. The people "wept that night and grumbled against their leaders Moses and Aaron. They thought it would be better to go back into Egypt as slaves than to enter into this wonderful land. Now, I am not a huge risk-taker and coming from the outside in, but if God promises to deliver his people---he does. These people had just dusted off their sandals from walking through the Red Sea; they had a pillar of fire at night and a cloud in the day aka God's presence leading them through the desert; I just would expect a different reaction, wouldn't you? I mean, how would have you reacted? Put yourself in the place of an Israelite for a brief moment.

Now look at your track record? Just ponder this past year and recall challenges, frustrations and moments that you either trusted the Lord, or you coiled back and hung out in the wilderness for a while. Perhaps you're facing a promise land opportunity right now: an opportunity of a lifetime--a mission trip, a new church, career change, or even a relationship. There maybe a few reasons to coil back: fear for finances, fear of failure, fear of having to work too hard, fear of just not knowing what each would look like. You are at the highest point of potential with the choice to take a step forward or backward. The Israelites chose to take the step backward and they all died before they were able to enter into the Promise Land. Not only that, but God was ..well, really frustrated with them: ....." I have pardoned, according to your word (response to Moses' attempt to intercede for his people). But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and not obeyed my voice shall see the land that I swore I would give to their fathers. "

Ah. The frustration of a Father. I think that disappointment in God's voice within this passage alone would be such a heavy weight to bear. Can we be different than the Israelites, please? Can we approach the Promise Land God has set before you with confidence in our God? I am probably one of the weakest people when it comes to confidence and faithfullness in trusting the Lord's hand. But the scripture, God's Word records these stories and parables and love letters with the purpose of guiding us through this life. I am praying that we would not choose the desert over the "Dessert" if you will, of the Promises of our Loving Father. God is bigger than your fears of failures, fiances, even your health and safety. Let's trust Him!

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