Genesis 12:7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
So we have learned that – it is God who owns the earth and its fulness.
And we learned therefore that God can give it to whoever He wishes to.
And here at Shechem, He proclaims to Abram that “To your descendants I will give this land”.
The previous verse explains that there are already people who are living in the land – the Canaanites.
No doubt they have been buying and selling property, houses and blocks of land just like we do today.
But does God seem to make any adjustments regarding his statement to Abram like “Well Abram, I plan to give you this land, but lots of people own it already so I am going to have to go and get all the ownership title deeds from them and then start the negotiation process.
“I’m pretty wealthy so it shouldn’t be a problem, but it may take a while through the appropriate channels, and the official protocols, and seeing the village headmen, the chiefs, the mayors of the towns, the local and state governments and the satraps and governors and get permissions from the King.”
No none of that. Just “To your descendants I will give this land”.
Why? Because it is His to give.
What about the people who were in possession at the time? The Canaanites?
The truth is, that whenever they arrived after Noah’s Flood, they just wandered in and inhabited the land because it was vacant.
They rolled in one day on their camels and donkeys and decided to picket out their farms and boundaries, put up their tents and assumed ownership.
But in fact they had not received permission or title deeds from the original owner – God.
Being a benevolent God He allowed them to squat there and use the ground, the nutrients, the water, the lakes, the trees, the animals on the land etc, but all until it was time for Him to do with it what He intended from the start.
And on this day when He appeared to Abram in Shechem, He told Abram what He was going to do with the land.
“I’m going to give it to your descendants Abram.”
He actually didn’t even technically give it to Abram in this proclamation. Who did He give it to? Abram’s descendants.
So what do you think about your own property? Your own land that you ‘own’.
Who really owns it? You? The government? Or God?
And what do you say about the people who lived in the very specific block of land that God had already intended to give to Abram’s descendants?
Did they own the land?
Did they have any ultimate rights to that particular piece of land?
What if they had lived there for 50 years? 100 years? 500 years?
Is this fair? Or are these simply the rules of ownership decided on by the original creator of the land?
Can you see a similar situation happening currently in the very same block of land?
If so then, who HAS actually been given the land by God – the owner of the land?
And if so, who are you supporting in this very real, current and ongoing discussion?
His death and resurrection means that Jews and Gentiles have become the physical and non physical descendants of Abraham.
The Jews BY NATURAL MEANS (and the land belongs to them eternally – despite what sinful man may say via the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Turkish, British Empires or the European Union, the United Nations or the surrounding Arab nations). The land has been promised to Abram and his descendants. He appeared to Abram to tell him so in Shechem.
And the Gentiles BY FAITH IN MESSIAH JESUS who have inherited eternal life.
(And I will quickly add, because many of you will say it, that all people – both Jew and Gentile must believe and accept that Jesus is the Messiah to be saved). These have become inheritors of all the promises of Abram by having been GRAFTED into the ‘cultivated olive tree’ – Israel.
Galatians 3:7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.
8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”
9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
Are you a Jewish person or a Gentile person?
Which ever you are – are you a believer in Jesus as Messiah?