This Land   Leave a comment

“And you shall take possession of the land and live in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it.” (Numbers 33:53)

Does good news for some mean bad news for others?    It seems so, at least in certain situations.   Your favorite team wins, which means someone else’s favorite team loses.   You get the promotion or job, which means someone else didn’t.  A great steak fills your plate, which means somewhere, a creature of nature breathes no more.

This morning, I read this passage from Numbers, which is one of the many accounts of the people of Israel coming into the land promised to them by God.   As i read, I just happened to be listening to Peter Paul and Mary’s performance of “This Land Is Your Land.”  It’s a stirring celebration of our great nation’s home, and the ways in which its beauty and scope makes it seem as though we were destined to live in it.  The Israelites had their own sense of manifest destiny, that as they entered their promised land, they too must have been singing, “This land was made for you and me.”  But what about those who lived there, and here, first?  Does good news for some necessarily lead to bad news for others?

I’ve already written in a previous post of my belief that God has plenty of favor to go around, but there are certainly places in Scripture where blessing for some creates hardship for others.  I can find other texts, though, where God’s blessing is meant for all, such that no one seems to lose.  I breathe air, and no one loses, but the plant next to me gains its own breath.

So which is it?  Is the realm of God a place of winners and losers, or an intricate weaving together of mutual blessing?  If this land is my land, can it also be yours?

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Posted March 16, 2012 by seawalking in Uncategorized

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