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modern home March 13 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Numbers 27:1-11; Numbers 34, 35, 36

A Place to Call Our Own

We all want a place to call our own. Families want their own homes. Teachers want their own classrooms. Office workers want their own spaces. Ministers want their own places of ministry. The Israelites were no different. Sure, they now have a recognized homeland, but until God brought them into the Promised Land they were but strangers and wanderers in the land (Hebrews 11:8-9). The Promised Land of Canaan is a picture of heaven. We are also wanderers and strangers in this land on earth, but some day, if we have a personal relationship with God through faith in his Son, we not only will have peace with God, forgiveness, and spiritual life (more...); we will also be citizens of heaven (Hebrews 13:14; Revelation 22:14).

Israel was a land whose borders God marked out from Lebanon and Syria in the north to the Yarmuk River to the Sea of Chinnereth (Galilee). Then its borders traced south to the Jabbok River and Arnon River, east of the Jordan River to the south of the Dead Sea, east of Edom's northern border. From there the border followed west to the brook (Wadi) of Egypt in the south and followed along the Mediterranean Sea all the way to the northern border (see map). There was a place for Israel. Is there a place for us in heaven?

Jesus said in John 14:2-3

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am, (NIV).

Is your place in heaven secure? If so, you can rejoice! If not, you can secure a place, not by holding it with a Visa card, but by having your sins washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:27 says “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ,” (NIV). The blood of Jesus Christ will wash you as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18) and you will wear a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10a). If you have the robe of righteousness, you have the Visa to secure your room in heaven. Furthermore, God seals you with a mark, so that you are his child with rights and privileges and with an inheritance in heaven (Ephesians 4:30; 1Peter 1:3-5).

In our space or place of our own, we want security, and we want to be treated right. Under a theocratic system of government, God looked after the interests of the Israelites. He gave them a place to call home; no more living in tents! He also set up a justice system, specifically dealing with the issue of murder, by providing a law for vengeance and cities where the offender could flee and find protection until his case was decided (also see Deuteronomy 19). We have said in recent lessons that God does not want us to act in vengeance, but back in Israel's time he set up a just system which allowed appointed Israelites (avengers) to act in vengeance for one who was murdered. No one, however, was to be killed unless at least two witnesses saw the killing. Otherwise, the person in question was to live in the city of refuge until the high priest died; then he could return to his own home and property. Through this system God brought justice and peace to the land. Praise the LORD that in heaven there will be no murders and violence; it will be a perfect place of peace (Isaiah 9:7).

Another principle we may apply from God's justice system is to treat all people with fairness and justice. How do we do this in our families, our churches, or our businesses? We are not to execute anyone; that is our government's job; but do we have any discipline procedures in place to bring justice and peace in our organizations? Do we give people a fair hearing before meeting out discipline? Do we deal with injustice and/or criminal acts with equity and fairness? If we do these things our place will most likely be a place of peace.

Securing Our Position. There was a threat to one of the clans of Israel because God had granted property rights to some widows (Numbers 27:1-7). The threat was that if they married into some other tribe, their own property rights would be lost (Numbers 36:1-4). How well do we protect property rights for widows and their families and others who might lose them? We must speak up for the widows, orphans, and those destitute, defend their rights and care for their needs (Psalm 68:5; Malachi 3:5; James 1:27). The resolution to the matter was that the widows had to marry within their own tribe and so preserve their inherited property. We were once spiritually destitute orphans. Who preserves our spiritual inheritance for us? In John 14:17-18 Jesus said He left us the Holy Spirit when we came into the family of God so that we would not be like orphans, alone and destitute. 1 Peter 1:3-5 says,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time," (NIV)

It is God who preserves our heavenly inheritance. Let us praise him for that.

Lessons to live by:

  • If we have a personal relationship with God through faith in his Son, we not only will have peace with God, forgiveness, and spiritual life (more...); we will also be citizens of heaven (Hebrews 13:14; Revelation 22:14).
  • If you have the robe of righteousness, you have the Visa to secure your room in heaven. Furthermore, God seals you with a mark, so that you are his child with rights and privileges and an inheritance in heaven.
  • Praise the LORD that in heaven there will be no murders and violence; it will be a perfect place of peace.
  • Treat all people with fairness and justice.
  • It is God who preserves our heavenly inheritance.

Today's Bible memory verse:

Deuteronomy 16:20 “Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (NIV)

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