Generous Boundaries

Leah DiPascal

Day: 33 | Plan: Numbers

Today's Reading: Numbers 34

Numbers 34:1-2 (NIV) “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Command the Israelites and say to them: “When you enter Canaan, the land that will be allotted to you as an inheritance is to have these boundaries.”’”

God’s promise to Abraham was to give his descendants the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. This promise was made while Abraham actually resided in that land as a foreigner. (Genesis 17:7-8) But the actual boundaries of Canaan had never been stated up until now.

God Himself would give Moses (not Abraham) those boundary instructions in great detail, which we discover in today’s reading of Numbers 34.

Since the tribe of Rueben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh had already requested their portion of land in the Transjordan area east of Jericho (Numbers 32), the Promised Land of Canaan would be divided between the remaining nine tribes, plus the other half-tribe of Manasseh.

The portion of inheritance was based on the size of the families in each tribe:

“Distribute the land by lot, according to your clans. To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one. Whatever falls to them by lot will be theirs. Distribute it according to your ancestral tribes” (Numbers 33:54).

God selected Eleazar (the priest) and Joshua to be in charge of distributing the land. He also assigned one leader from each tribe to help them in the distribution process.

Again we see God carrying out His plans in an orderly way with great detail and intentionality. This structure kept clans from simply running in and taking whatever territory they wanted—potentially leading to chaos and fighting among the clans and tribes.

The boundaries God gave were larger than the actual area eventually occupied by the Israelites. Although God instructed the Israelites to drive out all the inhabitants in the land, the Israelites didn’t fully follow God’s plan and failed in occupying all the territory to the boundary lines. (Judges 1:19-34)

The land is not only a beautiful reminder of God’s faithfulness to the Israelites, but also recognition of His great generosity. God knew in advance that the Israelites would disobey and fail in following His conquest instructions, yet He gave them all the land anyway.

Everything that we have—including our very lives—is an expression of God’s love and generosity to us. Not only does our Lord supply what we need, He also gives us above and beyond all we could ever ask or imagine through His Son, Jesus.

God lavishes us with His grace, wisdom and mercy. He is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Not only does God’s generosity extend to us here on earth, He lavishly pours out every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms and makes them available to us. (Ephesians 1:3)

King David said it best in Psalm 16:2, 5: “You are my L ORD; apart from you I have no good thing … You alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”

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Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me such a beautiful inheritance and generously supplying all I need in every season of life. When I look at creation and see all You have lavishly shared for my pleasure, I am overwhelmed by Your goodness. Help me to be willing and ready in extending generosity to others in response to all that You have already given me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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