Post by charliedale on May 28, 2015 12:05:24 GMT -5
Do you see modern-day parallels for Christians as we read about the Israelites taking the promised land and the promises that go with it, or would that be over-spiritualizing what was a concrete promise just for them? I guess I'm thinking about sanctification or entering heaven or maybe even general good blessings to a life of faithfulness.
What is the most spiritually beneficial way for a Christian to read those texts?
Post by Mike Miller on Jul 8, 2015 10:50:56 GMT -5
Charlie, I'm not sure what you're asking exactly, but I will say that I want to interpret the Old Testament through a New Testament lens. When it comes to the land of promise, isn't it interesting that God promised Abraham a land as an everlasting possession, but Abraham never possessed it. In fact, the only real estate Abraham ever owned was a burial place for his wife that he purchased (i.e., it wasn't given to him). So was the promise not effective? No, Hebrews 11:9-10, 13-16 explains it for us. Abraham knew that the land of promise was a "city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God." He desired "a better country, that is, a heavenly one." Moreover, like Abraham, we are all "strangers and exiles on earth." We, like Abraham, are sojourners (see 1 Peter 2:11). Moreover, after the conquest of Canaan, God told the people, "I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant" (Joshua 24:13). This tells me that the land of Canaan was a type foreshadowing the greater heavenly reality. The new Jerusalem is not made by us. We will dwell in cities we did not build, and we will eat from trees we did not plant. We are longing for that heavenly home--the same home Abraham desired.