Deuteronomy 34:1 Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land—from Gilead to Dan, 2 all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea, 3 the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’… NIV
Centuries before the children of Israel first approached the Promised Land, the Lord made a covenant with Abraham that included a country that stretched from the Nile River to the Euphrates. (see Ex 15:18) God did not say – ‘Maybe I will give you this land.’ God said – ‘I will give you this land.’
It is because of God’s covenant with Abraham that Canaan was often referred to as the ‘Promised Land.’ God promised this land to His people and therefore they should have approached it with great confidence. By faith they should have claimed what God had already promised.
As I write these words an email just appeared in my mail box. A member of my church wrote – “I pray your mom is healing and will soon be able to leave rehab.” As many of you know, my mom recently fell and broke her hip and she is now in rehab. I replied back to the email with these words – “Thank you very much for your prayers and support. It will be a process which mom will have to go through, but we are confident that with the Lord’s help she can do it!” As I typed those words I thought, “Do I really believe that? Do I really believe that with the Lord’s help, mom can do it?” Then my mind quickly went to some other areas in my life where lately the giants have been lurking. Again I asked myself – “Do I believe that God will help us in that area of life as well? Do I believe that God will take care of what needs to be done? Do I trust God enough to pass through this strange new door He has opened, or will I allow the giants to drive me out into the wilderness of doubt and despair?”
In order to encourage Joshua to possess the Promised Land, the Lord said to him-
Joshua 1:2 Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. ESV
In essence God was saying to Joshua- “I have already promised to give to you this land. I have also promised to be with you everywhere you go. I will not leave you. I will not forsake you. I will not drop you in the middle of this. I will help you defeat the giants that will come against you. But in order for you to receive all that I have promised – you must trust Me.”
The Bible is filled with many wonderful promises from God. But in order for us to receive these promises – we must trust Him. We must believe that even as the Lord was with men like Moses and Joshua, so will He be with us.