The Land of the Patriarchs - Map by Bill Schlegel from Bible Satellite AtlasGod made three promises to Abraham. One of those promises was for a land in which his seed would dwell. In reality, God could have given them any land that He wanted to give them. He is God. But, for some reason, He chose to give them a small piece of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. A piece of land only about 50 miles wide. We can read in the book of Joshua of the nation of Israel coming into the land, conquering it (mostly) and dividing the land between the tribes. So, why did God choose this piece of land? Honestly, I do not know. And, I would mistaken if I thought that I have the ability to fully understand the mind of God. But, it is fun to speculate.

At the time of the conquest, most of the people who lived on the earth were somewhere in the area detailed by the map at the top of this post. There were others on the earth, but most were located here. In addition, most travel (especially for large groups of people) was conducted on foot (or by animal). With the Mediterranean Sea to the west and the huge area of desert to the east, this tiny 50-mile wide piece of land served as a "land bridge" between Egypt, Europe and Asia. If anyone traveled through this area, they would need to go through the land occupied by God's children.

What would be the advantage of that arrangement? Well, anyone passing through would be able to learn of the God of the Israelites and see the blessings that were bestowed by that God on the people. Knowledge of the God of the Israelites could be spread far and wide. While I am sure that some of this happened naturally, if the nation of Israel would have conquered all of the land like they were commanded to do, then their position in the land and the influence they could have had would have been much higher. Instead, they failed to drive out all of the inhabitants of the land and then allowed those influences to affect them in ways that eventually led to their downfall.

So, that begs the question. Where has God placed you? Are you in a situation in which you can let your light shine for God? If so, are you doing that as best as you can? Or, are you letting the evil influences around you dim your light?

The Israelites were eventually carried away into captivity largely due to their inability to get rid of the evil influences around them and to take full advantage to the location where God had placed them.

Don't let that happen to you.

NOTE: The map at the top of this post is from Bill Schlegel at Satellite Bible Atlas.