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Monday: Land Deal — 30 Comments

  1. Land ownership is quite temporary and very thin. I own about 400 square metres of land in Australia. and according to the government who administers land ownership. I own nothing below the surface and have very little control about what goes on over my head. And I also know that within 10-20 years I will not own the land any more either. I have a great empathy with the aboriginal view of land - none of us own it but we are its caretakers.

    Abraham was a nomad and it was only when it came time to bury Sarah that he purchased a plot of land in Canaan. It is interesting to read the retrospective view provided by Paul in Hebrews:

    Abraham trusted God, and when God told him to leave home and go far away to another land that he promised to give him, Abraham obeyed. Away he went, not even knowing where he was going. And even when he reached God’s promised land, he lived in tents like a mere visitor as did Isaac and Jacob, to whom God gave the same promise. Abraham did this because he was confidently waiting for God to bring him to that strong heavenly city whose designer and builder is God. Hebrews 11:8-10 TLB

    And while there is the promise of a heavenly city where ownership is no longer an issue, there is also a sense that our inheritance is something beyond physical ownership that is available now. I will try to illustrate this as follows:

    When my parents died, we children inherited the value of the cash and other objects that our parents left to us. It was pleasant to get the money of course, but in retrospect, the real value that we inherited from our parents was the relationship that we had had with them during our lives. Money is soon spent, or it sits in the bank, but the results of the love interaction over many years is something that affects us every day. We consider ourselves fortunate indeed to have had a good warm relationship with our parents.

    Likewise, I think Abraham came to see that his relationship with God was the "real estate" that God had wanted to give him even more than a country Abraham could call his own. And if you go back and read the Kingdom parables in the Gospels, you will find that most of the lessons taught in them are about the Kingdom of God (our spiritual inheritance) in the present.

    • To obey and trust!

      Even if we do not inherit a good relationship with our own parents, God is able to restore inside of us whatever was broken once, and substitute it by something good and new!

      When we trust in God and obey His commands, the blessings are on His part! The blessings will come according to what we need the most! Because God knows everything!

    • Good Day, i am a youth and new to this can you explain to me what is the meaning of this?
      “ Despite all the promises of land, those promises were not unconditional. They came as part of a covenant. Israel had to fulfill her end of the bargain; if not, the promises could be nullified.”
      Thank you!

      • Bea. The only condition for us to receive God's promises is for us to believe.

        Many will try to convince you that you have to earn God's promises by obeying, repenting, etc. but this is not true. If we had to earn or deserve God's promises, no one would receive them.

        God's covenants are one-way promises, from Him to us. We receive these promises by believing Him, just like Abraham.

        • I think Paul is pretty clear in stating that we claim and receive God's promises by faith (belief), not by law keeping. So by grace we have been saved (Ephesians 2:8) and by grace we are being sanctified/transformed (Titus 2:11-13). Praise God. That IS good news.

          So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. Romans 4:16 NLT

      • Israel's "part of the bargain" was to accept Yahweh as their Lord. Then, as now, that means being willing to do as God says. If we are willing, He will give us the power to obey through His Holy Spirit.

        That said, Christ Himself was the ultimate answer to the Covenant. He became human for the explicit purpose of fulfilling the covenant - of redeeming what Adam lost by His sin/lack of trust in God. This redemption includes not only our lives (for eternity), but also this whole physical planet. So there's a "land deal" for spiritual Israel as well. 🙂

        • Abraham obeyed when he left Ur. He was clearly "willing to do as God says."

          That didn't earn him salvation. What did?

          And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith. Genesis 15:6

          God has never asked man to make promises to Him and none were made by Abraham. All the promises ever made by man were broken in short order (Exodus 24:3).

          Thus, all of God's covenants are His promises to us. They are bargains only in the sense that they are free... if we claim and appropriate them for ourselves by faith = belief (John 3:16).

          • Sieg, your reply begs a few questions: What if Abram said "I believe", but never left Ur? Can one have faith without works? What do Paul and James say about Abram's faith/works(Heb 11:8,17; James 2:20-26)? If works are nothing, why are all going to be judged by works(Eccl 12:13,14, Rev 22:12), and not by their profession of faith?

            Are we saved if we remain disobedient? Would Israel remain in possession of the land if they turned to making and worshiping false gods? What actually took place when they disobeyed the law of God?

            Man was never asked to make promises, man has always been asked to believe and obey. Remember the voice from Sinai giving the law to Israel(and the whole world)? What was the point of that if not obedience? What do we learn about all of this by reading Leviticus 28?

            Will any unrepentant sinner be found in the city of God(Rev 22:14,15)?

            • Hi Robert. Are we saved if we remain disobedient?

              This was the same charge the Judaizers leveled against Paul when he said that we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8). They accused Paul of "cheap grace" whereby the saved could sin all they want.

              What was Paul's response?

              What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.Romans 6:15 KJV

              Will any unrepentant sinner be found in the city of God? We have covered this before on this forum but to review, repentance, like salvation, is a gift from God and not a result of our works. Both are necessary for heaven and both are given to us by God as an act of grace.

            • If repentance is not from us, and only a gift of God, then everyone should be saved. If we do need to act in faith and make choices(Joshua 24:5), then it is left with us to do so.

              What do the promises of Jesus mean to you where He tells the 7 churches: "To him that overcomes..."? Doesn't this suggest free will and obligations being placed upon us to make a choice and act on it?

              Yes, the opportunity and the conviction we need to repent is granted by God who is not bound by any obligation to allow us that ability, yet I must do the repenting, for God does nothing against my choice/will. While Jesus called all to "repent and believe the gospel"(Mark 1:15), most will decline this offer of grace and be lost. God cannot repent for anyone, but only helps us to see the need, and offers full pardon for any who "repent and believe".

            • It's interesting, reading the back-and-forth between Sieg and Robert. Of course Sieg's comments could easily be misconstrued. However, there is nothing in them that I actually find troublesome. Had Abram said, "I believe," but never left Ur, he would have been a liar. Sieg quotes the Bible as saying that Abram was counted righteous because of his faith, not his mere profession of faith.

              On the other hand, Robert's comments are making me a bit nervous.

              "If works are nothing..."

              Indeed, when it comes to merit, our works truly are nothing. The best they can do is show our faith.

              Again, Robert emphasizes the importance of our decision making. It is true that those who are ultimately destroyed will have destroyed themselves. On the other hand, no one will ever save himself or herself by making good choices. Romans 9:16 (NKJV) says:

              "So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. "

              Acts 5:31 says that Jesus gives us repentance.

              If we feel that we have to play some important part in our own salvation, I fear that we shall be left out.

      • Bea, for me, truly those promises were not unconditional. Covenants are two ways, not one way. The author used the land as one example, he could have used anything. If they Israelites obey the Lord as he asked them, the land was theirs, if not, the land will not be theirs. For example- lets look at marriage. Marriage according to the bible is between two people. The bride and the groom. In some places we read that some men had more that one wife. Was it the Lord doing that the men should have more than one wife? Was the marriage acceptable to Jesus? What were the lasting consequences?
        What about marriage between two people. Two people have joined by a covenant. To love and cherish each other until death do they part. If one partner broke the covenant once, twice, thrice etc, then what happens to the marriage? It it still a marriage?

        • Hi Lyn,

          I'm afraid we tend to look at God's covenant promises to us in human, carnal ways where there are two equal promise makers (e.g., marriage).

          Do we really consider ourselves as equals with God? What was our part in our adoption process (Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:5-7). Does an orphan choose his/her parents?

          How are the following covenants "two ways?"

          Gen 3:15
          Ezekiel 16:1-14 NLT
          Genesis 9:13-17
          Exodus 6:7
          Ezekiel 34:24
          Ezekiel 36:28
          Jeremiah 31:33

          • When it comes to God's covenant of grace, He treats us as equals, free to choose or not. Genesis 3:15 only applies to those who accept and act on the promise of God. Scripture is clear on this isn't it? "IF we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive..." is the "exceeding great and precious promise" with a very big IF. How is this not a two-way agreement? Does God ever force the will of anyone, or does He give each the choice to make for themselves?

            I see nothing in scripture that would justify your question Sieg. Most will refuse the "adoption" of grace. Most declined to board the ark and perished in the flood. Most remained in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and perished. God honors your choice over His own will.

            • Then we must disagree because scripture is clear that we don't become qualified for God's grace or receive it as a result of anything we do

              the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. Titus 2:11 NLT

              Our sins were forgiven on the cross while we were still sinners Romans 5:8

              God honors your choice over His own will.

              God is sovereign and is not shackled by our choices. Man has long thought too highly of himself but never more so than when he claims he can annul God's promises (Dan 3:15 And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”)

            • We love to oversimplify. It is true that God longs to save everyone, and will spare no trouble or expense in the effort to do so. It is also true that God knows the end from the beginning, and so realistically never planned on saving everyone. Can you wrap your mind around that? I can't mine.

              What makes the difference between those who are saved and those who are lost? Is it some wise choice, on our part, so that we can boast? No, all the glory must go to God who loved us when we did not love Him. Is it some arbitrary decision, on God's part, so that our fate is sealed, and nothing we can do will affect the outcome? No again. Those who are destroyed will have destroyed themselves.

              Maybe we don't have to have all of the answers. The secret things belong to Jehovah our God, but that which is revealed belongs to us and to our children forever. Maybe it's time we took a more humble approach, and just be thankful!

            • Sieg, who said anything about being qualified? Choice merely receives the gift or refuses it. Either way, we have the choice to make to accept or reject God's offer of Grace in Christ. "Choose you this day", "Come unto me", "Come, and let us reason together", and many other invitations are offered to sinners.

              I would suggest that you read the verses following the one you quoted from Titus 2:11. Do you see the choice being offered, or is God actually as Satan accuses: arbitrary?

              R.C., First, I can easily understand the matter of not all will be saved, and that God knew the exact names and number of those who will accept His grace, before the Lord said: "Let there be light". However, the choice remains to every soul to accept(by faith) or reject(through unbelief) the "grace that brings salvation". We have no power to save ourselves, but we do have the free choice to accept or reject the offer. This is why most will be lost, and the main reason is revealed in 2 Thess 2:10-12.

              I think you hit the matter squarely when you suggested we humble ourselves, for it is pride that leads to the rejection of grace and the resulting destruction.

    • thanks for the commentary....so much of the political turmoil in the world today and throughout history of the world is arguments over possession and ownership of land.....very interesting that the nations of Israel were never possessed large empires of land...i.e. roman empire, babylonian empire,....anyway i think Scripture of what Jesus said are relevant....word search on "world" yield 186 verses in NT that provide perspective of Disciples and relationship to the world....Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, [b]“Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” Matthew 4:8-10....Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.(Matthew 13:22)

  2. indeed we are to humble ourselves because we own nothing physical in this world. We must daily look out for a better relationship with God and with this as in John 14, we would be in a place the Lord Himself is preparing for us.

  3. Inheritance of land is typically as a result of a prior relationship. Total strangers do not usually inherit land from someone they never knew. We need to strengthen our personal relationship with the Lord to make the promised inheritance sure.

  4. How do we understand what these conditions are, especially in the context of salvation by faith alone?

    We start this understanding by acquainting ourselves with Christ. As we become acquainted we receive the law from His mouth, laying up His words in our hearts. The Almighty will help us put away iniquity, because we have allowed Him to build us up through His Grace by faith alone. We now have delight in The Almighty, and The Almighty hears us, because we have lifted our face unto God in prayer. Job 22:21-30.
    Read these 10 verses for yourself to catch the recompense for listening to, then obeying these conditions. Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ is another form of obeying. The marvel is that none of this will earn us salvation. It is our grabbing the out stretched hand of Christ, a gesture of Love, that melts our hearts, and we in turn grab His hand and hold on, that we receive the merits of Christ, the remedy for sin. Then the rich current of His love flows through us to others.

  5. What were the conditions for inheriting the land?
    Firstly they had to understand and acknowledge that in fact the land belonged to the LORD and he only allowed them to live on His land so long as they maintained their relationship with the LORD. So long as they loved the LORD with all their heart, mind, soul & body and allowed Him to change their characters to be in harmony with His Principles of Life.

    Gen 15:18 MKJV  In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, I have given this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates.

    Lev 25:23 MKJV  The land shall not be sold forever; for the land is Mine. For you are strangers and pilgrims with Me.

    Deu 30:6 ISV  Then the LORD your God will circumcise both your hearts and those of your descendants so that you can love him with your heart and with your soul and therefore live in the land.

  6. When we buy land, usually there is some method of checking to see that the title is “clear” (the seller actually owns the land and if there are any encumbrances- sometimes an easement or restriction that the buyer must accept- but especially anything that could cause some other person to legally take the land for failure to pay a debt-those are cleared up as part of the transaction)
    God has given us a good title to our home in heaven.
    But what about what we give back to God (our hearts)? Do we have a clear title to give? Have we clouded the title with little sins that make it not as valuable as it could be? Do we have debts to Satan that will give him a position to say he will take the property (our souls) for failure to pay the debt?
    Let us make sure that we keep our title clear, and let us REJOICE that even if we have made foolish decisions encumbering our clear title, that Jesus has willingly paid the price, bought us and our title can be free once again.

  7. I believe that as a young child over 70 years ago I heard my grandfather sing a song that mentioned having a “title clear “. Does anyone know where to find the song? In 1977 I finally understood why having a title clear meant—— protection from loss of property if due diligence was not done to find any thing that could lead to loss.Gale is correct I must be sure that no little sin causes me to lose the property that is mine by God’s grace.

      • Sorry. That’s the number in the USA/American hymnal. I remember now that hymns have different numbers in the Spanish hymnal. I just looked and it’s not even in the Spanish SDA hymnal.
        It was written by Isaac Watts.

      • The lyrics (without the repetition):

        When I can read my title clear
        To mansions in the skies,
        I bid farewell to every fear,
        And wipe my weeping eyes.

        Should earth against my soul engage,
        And hellish darts be hurled,
        Then I can smile at Satan’s rage,
        And face a frowning world.

        Let cares, like a wild deluge come,
        And storms of sorrow fall!
        May I but safely reach my home,
        My God, my heav’n, my All.

        There shall I bathe my weary soul
        In seas of heav’nly rest,
        And not a wave of trouble roll
        Across my peaceful breast.

    • The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof, the world and them that dwell therein....Ps 24:1-10.

      Horace there can be more than one, but here is one.
      When I can read my Title Clear to mansions in the skies,
      I'll bid farewell to every fear,
      and wipe my weeping eyes; and wipe my weeping eyes; and wipe my weeping eyes, I'll bid farewell to every fear, and wipe my weeping eyes.
      Depending on what part of the world you live or what type of government rules where you live, land meant different things for everyone. Land is a great thing to have but to what and who expense? The land given to Abraham was to be his generation land. The Lord told the Israelites when the got into Canaan what to do to be happy, the disobey and still want to be happy. People fight and kill for land, but why? Is it the worth, or is it what it means to have a piece or many acres of land.
      Do we realized how many pieces of land the SDA own in many countries that lies unoccupied? On one hand we are keeping them, on another hand we are preaching that Jesus is coming soon and we have to let go of world possessions. Where does our stewardship lies? Are we like the servant who buried his master talent until he returns?

  8. Looking at the wording of Deut.1:8KJV a bit closer, I noticed that the lead-in to this statement starts actually with Deut.1:1KJV. Deut.1:3-8KJV highlights what had already transpired under Moses’ leadership as he set the stage for them to continue to conquer the land and possess it . –
    v.3: ”And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them:
    (v.4) After he had slain Sihon the king of the Am’o-rites, which dwelt in Hesh’-bon, and Og the king of Ba’shan, which dwelt at As’ta-roth in Ed’re-i:
    (5) On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare (explain) this law (Torah, teaching), saying:
    (6)The LORD our God spake unto us in Ho’reb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:
    (7)Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Eu-phra-tes.
    (8) Behold, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.

    Moses speech continued: Deut.1:20-21KJV –
    ”And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Am’o-rites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us.
    (21) Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee: fear not neither be discouraged.

    After reading these passages, it appears to me that the LORD did not just hand over the land of Promise. Moses said that the land was ‘*before* them, to go and *possess* the Land’ which the Lord sware to ‘give’ unto them after conquering it.
    To me, these verses imply that Israel, before possessing the land, had to actually conquer the land ‘before them’, defeat the kings through warfare – “fear not neither be discouraged’ – before settling down and live in their Land of Promise.

    Active faith, love, courage, and obedience was Israel’s portion to uphold in the Covenant with their God. Active faith and love remain at the first position as we maintain our relationship with the Father, inspiring courage and faithfulness as we live in His spiritual kingdom of heaven here on earth.

    God appointed forty years for Israel to live in the Wilderness during which He worked to establish their faith in Him, the unfamiliar God. I think that in our day and time, each believer experiences his own ‘wilderness’ as we live our life surrounded by hostile influences causing us to doubt our walk by faith, becoming luke-warm by compromising our commitments as we undertake the 'possession' of the Promised Land.

    We are given the same assurances as the children of Israel to encourage us during the process of 'possessing the land', to “fear not neither be discouraged” as we act upon the Word of our Lord Christ Jesus - our living Faith - and in the Faithfulness of the Father who gave us His Promise.

  9. Whether we own or rent/lease in this world, we are stewards with all God blesses us with. Even if homeless vagabonds, if we believe God's promises, we will have an eternal home like the one Abraham died waiting for. Any land deals today are temporary at best, yet our prosperity depends only on our belief in God's "exceeding great and precious promises".


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