When I come across passages like this – listing the territories which God gave to His people, I can’t help but think about Acts 17:26. “God made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation.”
Today we still have certain boundaries. There are people appointed to each nation, territory, city, and family. Those people are responsible for their own habitation, but they can’t be responsible for all the others. Even in pastoring a church, my husband has the charge of praying for the people and teaching them the truth, but he can’t live their lives for them.
He can’t go into their homes and make the decisions which will affect the lives of that family. That would be overstepping his bounds. Each person is responsible for his own habitation.
In the same way, we are responsible for our civic duties as citizens of a country, but we have nothing to say about another country. We can pray for the people there, but we can’t vote, or in any way determine the culture of another country.
In thinking along these lines, though, it makes me truly aware of God’s placement of my life. I want to fulfill every purpose He has for me in the area of His choosing. I want to do everything I can to manifest God’s Kingdom around me.
Then we come to Caleb. What an inspiration he is! In 14:6-15 Caleb reminds Joshua of Moses’s promise to him 45 years before. When the spies came into the Promised Land, only Joshua and Caleb believed that God would bring them in. At the time, the entire nation had to stay in the wilderness because of their unbelief. Yet Moses promised Caleb that eventually he would have the land on which his foot had trodden – the hill country.
Caleb remembers. “I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. Now give me this hill country …with the Anakim.”(14:10-12)
Not only does he remember, but Caleb is as strong at eighty-five as he was at forty. He is ready to take on the giants!
Caleb is my role model in that respect. I want to continue to have great strength for fulfilling God’s purpose all the days of my life. No retirement. Never “too old,” just divine strength all the days of my life.
All the relatives were blown away by John’s birth and its circumstances. In the first place, Elizabeth was too old to have this child … but she did. And there was this strange thing about Zacharias not being able to speak.
Yet there was even more to come. According to Jewish tradition, the child should be named for his father. So when the eighth day came – the time for the circumcision and naming of the child – all of the relatives were going to call him Zacharias. Elizabeth again shocked everyone by saying his name was John. (The name God had ordained).
Still unable to speak, Zacharias had to write his agreement, “His name is John. And they were all astonished.” (1:63)
So Zacharias regained his ability to speak and prophecy began to come forth. “God is accomplishing redemption for His people.” “Salvation from our enemies.” “to remember His Holy covenant.” And this child shall be “called the prophet of the Most High.” “Prepare the way of the Lord.” “Sunrise on High shall visit us.” “To shine upon those who sit in darkness.”
The town was abuzz with gossip and speculation. Every bit of this was out of the ordinary. Something big was going on here!
We have to remember that about 400 years had gone by without any major words from God. Things had become very quiet, and all of the prophetic words of old could have seemed to have passed away.
Yet they hadn’t. There were still a few people around who studied the Word and prayed and believed that there would be fulfillment. Yet I’m sure that even when the words were fulfilled it seemed surreal. Way out of the ordinary.
We live in a similar day. There are some who may have read the Bible in days gone by, but they don’t pay much attention any more. They may think that the Words of God will never come to fruition.
I have news for those people. Every Word of God will be fulfilled. Every one! It does us good to read and study and pray for discernment on these things.
Just as in those days, one day there will be a “suddenly.” There will be a manifestation of the things we have been praying and believing for.
There’s much excitement ahead. I want to be ready for it and in on it. Don’t you?