July 3

2 Kings 17:3-23, 18:9-12, 17:24-41, 16:19-20, 18:1-2; Isaiah 5:1-30, 2 Chronicles 28:26-27, 29:1; 1 Chronicles 4:34-43

They couldn’t keep the Promised Land. The Jewish people had been given such an amazing gift but they squandered it away. God’s condition for living in Canaan was to worship him only. They didn’t do that and God removed his protection and blessing and the Jews lost the land.

God won’t make us worship him. He didn’t create strings on us that he could manipulate to make us do what he asks. He created us with the ability to choose and he wants us to choose him.

He’s very clear about the consequences that come from rejecting him. And the nation of Israel’s example here in the Old Testament shows us what happens when we try to live with one foot in the Truth and the other in the world.

Making it personal, I bet you can identify times of God’s blessings of peace and joy and equate them with your choice to follow him. And you can probably identify times of struggle when you tried to hold on to a sin and worship God, too. I have experienced both.

Our spiritual Promised Land of forgiveness, love, hope, faith, joy was given to us when we accepted Jesus as our Savior. It’s where God wants us to live. But living there requires a daily choice to obey him. It takes a conscious walk with the Lord, communication, a willingness to deny self and be the people God would have us be.

May you walk with God today and know the blessing that comes from living in the Promised Land.

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