Live WITHIN the BOUNDARY that GOD has SET for YOU
February 20 Bible Reading: Numbers Chapters 34-36
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Command the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land of Canaan, this is the land that shall fall to you as an inheritance--the land of Canaan to its boundaries. Your southern border shall be from the Wilderness of Zin along the border of Edom...as for the western border, you shall have the Great Sea for a border...and this shall be your northern border: From the Great Sea you shall mark out your border line to Mount Hor...You shall mark out your eastern border from Hazar Enan to Shepham...this shall be your land with its surrounding boundaries." (Num 34:1-3, 6, 7, 10, 12)
After commanding the Israelites to dispossess the inhabitants of Canaan and possess their land (33:50-56), the remaining chapters in the book of Numbers deal with setting the boundaries for Israel’s occupation (34:1-15), the subsequent division of the land property (34:16-29), the allotment of the land property to the tribes (chapter 35), and finally the inheritance of the Promised Land (chapter 36).
The above passage fixes the boundaries of the Promised Land that the Israelites would inherit hereafter, and we see that God’s promise to Abraham back in Gen. 15:18 was finally in the beginning stages of its fulfillment. "And I will set your bounds from the Red Sea to the sea, Philistia, and from the desert to the River. For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you" (Exodus 23:31). We are now seeing the detailed display of the grandeur of the land that God was about to give to His own people (33:53).
Directed by the Lord, Moses mapped out that land by regions, carefully delineating the southern, western, northern and eastern borders. Within this area the nine and a half western tribes would find their places since the two and one-half tribes had already been promised the land east of the Jordan (vv. 13–15). Let us note that this was an ideal description of Israel’s border that was never ever fully realized. In fact, the Philistines always occupied the coastal areas that were within the boundary God had assigned to the Israelites!
Let us remember that God has assigned certain boundaries for our lives as well – whether it is our family, our marriage, our church and our community of faith. These are all important demarcations that God does not want us to cross over, for if and when we do that, we are susceptible to the attacks of Satan in our lives. Just like it is safe for the herd to be together for safety from the prowling lions, we also need the safety of the boundary that God has set for us to escape the attacks of our adversary who “walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
God assigned the tribes their inheritance and set their boundaries according to His pre-determined will and purpose. We too must accept what God assigns to us and not complain or covet what others possess. When we are tempted to complain about what God has assigned to us, remember that we "can receive nothing unless it has been given to us from heaven" (John 3:27). Through faith in Christ, we can live within the boundary that God has set for us!