Today’s Reading: Numbers 34:1 – 36:13
Borders are pretty important to man. If you look through history you can see where nations have built and defended great barriers to protect their borders. We all know of the Great Wall of China. We know of the Iron Curtain that separated Western Europe from the Soviet Block in the east. We know very well the Berlin Wall that lasted barely 30 years, but was an iconic imaged of divisions and differences. Today in the US there is a fence going up along the southern border with Mexico.
Today’s reading gives us a listing of the borders of the promised land that God is about the lead the Israelites to possess. It is a very specific border and it names specific cities, rivers, towns and features of the land. It is one of a few places where the borders of God’s promised land is mentioned. Abraham gets a promised land described in Genesis 15:18-15:21, Joshua describes it in Joshua 15:2 – 4 and Ezekiel prophesized it in Ezekiel 47:13 – 48:29 .
While researching this topic I came across two interesting articles on the topic. There is actually quite a bit of controversy as to what were the borders and where were the places mentioned in the list. Here are two of them:
Very scholarly, higher Biblical criticism discussion on the Numbers 34 borders…
Here is a more political discussion on the current borders and misconceptions of what they mean… (As a political science and history buff, this one was very interesting to me)
At first I was at a loss as to how to move forward with a blog post on the borders of the promised land. Then it dawned on me, the borders of the promised land are a note in history. They are not anything that has to do with my faith or my belief in God. Whether the border was here or there is not impacting my relationship with Jesus Christ. His love for you and I is borderless. Here are some verses that remind us that God loves the whole world, not just people within one border or another.
Acts 1:8 NIV
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Matthew 28:18 – 20 NIV
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
John 3:16 NIV
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song.
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine on us—
2 so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.
3 May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples with equity
and guide the nations of the earth.
5 May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
6 The land yields its harvest;
God, our God, blesses us.
7 May God bless us still,
so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.