Today we read Deuteronomy 1:1-18; Romans 9:1-18; Mt 23:27-39
A verse from Deuteronomy "Behold I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land which the Lord swore to your fathers..."
God promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants the land. However, the possession of the land comes centuries later. It is the "next generation" of the Hebrew slaves who escaped from Egypt which stands poised to enter the land.
The gift of the land is from God. But the reception of the gift, the actual "taking possession" is an active process. The men of Israel fought the inhabitants of the land and there was great slaughter on every side. The reign of God in the holy land does not come in the blink of an eye. Receiving the gift feels like going to war. Hand to hand combat. Amazing grace indeed!
At times it is tempting to think that God at work among us is a call to passivity---that God's promise means we need do nothing but sit back and wait. That is not what it meant to the desert wanders of ancient Hebrews. The entry into the land promised by God was also an invasion. The gift was also a task. It was no easy task, which is why God often told them "do not fear. be brave and courageous."
Lord, I trust you for all things. You are the faithful creator and redeemer, the covenant God who loves His people. Sometimes I find it hard to "fight the battles" of my life. Sometimes I want to receive the promise with out having to go in and take possession of it. Forgive me that and help me to trust you and act with courage and loving fidelity.