Before we begin today’s lesson, we’ll need to do a bit of reading to catch us up to the place where the Israelite nation will be going in to take possession of the Promised Land.
Begin by reading Nehemiah 9:7-21.
What happened when El Shaddai told them to go in and take possession of the land that El Shaddai had sworn to give them (vv. 15-17)?
Summarize what happened over the next 40 years.
Now read Deuteronomy 1:6-8.
To date this text, it is in the fortieth year after having come out of Egypt. The Israelites had just completed their forty years of wandering in Sinai as punishment for their unbelief for not entering Canaan as El Shaddai had commanded them. Moses is addressing the Israelites, recounting what YAHUAH had said to them thirty-nine years earlier.
We have already looked at Israel’s unbelief in Lesson 18, so for now, let’s concentrate on verse 8. “See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that YAHUAH swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.”
The phrase take possession is translated from the Hebrew word yarash. It means “to seize, to take possession of, to possess, to inherit; to occupy, to drive away, to expel, to take away; to be an heir…It has the legal sense of becoming an heir and the military sense of invasion for the purpose of settling in the territory. Both meanings are dominant with regard to El Shaddai’s covenant with Israel. El Shaddai told Abraham that the land of Canaan would belong to his descendants; but, after leaving Egypt, they had to take possession of the Promised Land. Most of the occurrences appear in Deuteronomy because the people needed to be reminded of their legacy after forty years of wandering in the wilderness and just prior to Joshua’s military campaign.”[i][i]
You see, the Promised Land was their inheritance. It belonged to them. They just had to go in and take possession of it. We, at times, also need to be reminded of our inheritance. You may not even know this…but we have an inheritance in Messiah.
Turn to Ephesians 1 and read it in its entirety.
What an awesome passage of Scripture just waiting to be dissected! Let’s begin with verse 18 and work our way backwards. Among other things, Paul prayed they would know “the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” The Greek word for inheritance is kieronomia. “As the inheritance of the earthly typified that of the heavenly Canaan, so the latter is often called kieronomia, inheritance (Acts 20:32; Eph. 1:14; 5:5; Heb. 9:15, etc.). Heritage (Acts 7:5). Divine salvation, considered both as promised and as already bestowed, is designated an inheritance in the N.T. so far as man, the heir, obtains possession of it.”[ii][ii]
According to verses 13-14, what guarantees our inheritance?
Where is our inheritance kept (1 Pet. 1:4)?
What is our guarantee (2 Cor. 1:22)?
Our inheritance is waiting for us in heaven. The Ruach Ha Kodosh in our hearts is the guarantee of this future inheritance. He is the evidence or the proof that we are saved. Not only is he our guarantee, but we also get to experience the benefits or blessings of having him in our lives here on earth.
Ephesians 1:3 says El Shaddai “has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Messiah.” What are these blessings, beginning with verse 4?
We are chosen by Almighty El Shaddai. He chose us “before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” That means that before El Shaddai said, “Let there be light,” he had us planned! He predestined us to be adopted as his sons and daughters because it was his will and it pleased him to do so. He determined it beforehand. And, what’s more… he did it in love. How many of us tend to think that El Shaddai grudgingly takes us in because he has obligated himself to do so? No…he predetermined it. We were part of his plan. The Great I AM selected us to be his. Imagine!
Verse 11 says, “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”
Fill in the missing word from verse 9: “And he made known to us the __________ of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Messiah.”
According to Colossians 1:26-27, what is the mystery?
The mystery is the fact that Messiah indwells Gentiles, not just Jews. Salvation is for everyone. Abraham and his descendants (the Israelites) were not the only ones chosen. We were too!