Friday, August 05, 2005

Go Up and Take Possession

Several times in the first couple of chapters of Deuteronomy, God gives the Israelites somewhat strange instructions. Essentially, He says, "I have given you this land--now go and take possession of it."

Odd--He gave it to them, so by definition, don't they already possess it? We use the term "possession" interchangeably with "belonging"; something I possess is simply my personal property. It belongs to me. It sits in my car or my closet, or on my bookshelf or desk. It doesn't make much sense for God to tell them to possess what He has already given them if we use this definition, so obviously there's something deeper at work here.

The land is theirs for the taking--God has given it to them. But they have to be active. They have to respond. They have to do something. They can't just say thanks and toss the gift in their junk drawer. They have to possess it. Deuteronomy 2:31 goes a bit further: "begin to conquer and possess [the] land."

What's my point? Just to get you asking with me: What has God given me that I've failed to possess? What gifts has He offered that I need to take ownership of, take responsibility for, cultivate and hone and conquer and seek to understand?

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