– Joseph Rozario (Bangalore, India)
We have been seeing that God’s ultimate and intended purpose for Israel was that they not only enter but conquer and retake the land of Canaan. They were not to wander in the wilderness even though God continued to meet their needs. God’s ultimate assessment about them, in His Word, was that He was not pleased with them (I Corinthians 10:5). They came short of God’s expected end. Allegorically speaking, there is a parallel, between natural Israel and spiritual Israel—which is the company of saved Christians. It is possible to appropriate the salvation experience and yet not please the heart of God. It is not those who have commenced but those who have completed the race successfully, who will be recognized.
Among the natural Israelites, the majority of them with whom God was not pleased, there was a small REMNANT company, an entirely new generation under Joshua and Caleb, who voluntarily took the step of faith and crossed the Jordan River into Canaan, the Promised Land—unlike at the Red sea where the crossing was imposed on them. At the crossing of the Jordan River, God ensured that nothing of Egypt and the uncircumcised would ever enter Canaan (Achan in Joshua 7 is another story). It was the residual lingering memories of Egypt, which continued to provoke them to return to Egypt.
The crossing of Jordan, called for an end of all “flesh.” It is a new experience for this people. They are not a perfect, qualified capable people, but they are a completely available and yielded people. They are clay earthen pots, containing a great treasure… the excellency of the power of God and not of men (II Corinthians 4:7). As long as they remained faithful to their commitment, God would take over the responsibility of completing his originally intended destined work in them and through them. This company of people is symbolic of an overcoming triumphant church, consisting of a group of remnants who choose to voluntarily and irrevocably abandon their self-lives in lieu of God’s promises. God would then have for Himself a company of saints consisting of the MATURE-SON material.
“The Lord will accomplish that which concerns me;
Your [unwavering] lovingkindness, O Lord, endures forever—
Do not abandon the works of Your own hands. Psalm 138:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
God’s promise to be appropriated and experienced in Canaan (not in the wilderness) was, “…arise and go over this Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them…Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you…” – Joshua 1:2 & 3. “…although the works were finished from the foundation of the world” -Hebrews 4:3. It is going to be He and not “I” (Galatians 4:20).
God’s method is either He has already done it or He will do it…and we need to be available and yielded in faith. Faith is the most important ingredient in this process. The Israelites lost it out mainly because: “…not being mixed with faith in them that heard it ”– Hebrew 4:2. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him” – Hebrews 11:6.
See God’s commitment and determination below in italics. Ezekiel 36:22-30
22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy name’s sake,…
23 And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.
28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.
29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.
30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.
God is willing to perform all these if we are willing and remain yielded, trusting Him in faith.
The land of Canaan is a place of battles (Ephesians 6:12) and rest (Hebrews 4:1)! And these battles can be won only by remaining in the realm of rest.
The battle is the Lord’s. He said: “…..Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”- II Chronicles 20:15 (NIV).
As an initial deposit and guarantee, God has not only put forth to us the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13), He has declared us to be justified (Romans 5:1) and made Himself as our wisdom, and righteousness, sanctification and redemption- (I Corinthians 1:30). That assurance was what made Paul to say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me “ Philippians 4:13—because the Lord will perfect that which concerns me: