Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The land of ‘Milk and honey’ is approaching

Good morning. Today’s scripture comes from Exodus 13:5 (New Living Translation): When the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites—the land he swore to your forefathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you are to observe this ceremony in this month:

Let me see if I have this right. The Israelites are slaves in Egypt, being forced to work back-breaking labor from sun-up to sun-down and they despise their masters. Moses comes along and promises them freedom from said slavery. So to prove God’s power to Pharaoh, Moses sends plague after plague that devastates the land for years to come. When that doesn’t work, he tells the Israelites to slaughter a lamb, grab a hyssop branch and smear blood over their doorposts so the angel of death will “pass over” their house when killing all the first-borns, people and livestock alike, in every household in Egypt. Finally, Pharaoh tells Moses to take the Israelites and get out of town! NOW!

The Israelites take up a collection of silver and gold from the Egyptians on the road out of town. God warns Moses that the Israelites would likely bitch and moan about the life they were leaving behind. After all, they had it pretty good, making bricks all day long with no straw – “but keep up your production boys, or there will be hell to pay!” Today, that would be akin to giving someone a laptop with no battery left and no power cord – but keep up your work load – or else! It didn’t take long for the complaining to start.

“A land flowing with milk and honey” is a poetic word picture that Moses used to describe the land of Canaan. He doesn’t use the term in stereotypical used-car salesman fashion, trying to sell the Israelites on a vacation to visit London Bridge in the middle of the desert. He first uses the term in Exodus 3:17 after God speaks to him from the burning bush.

Canaan was not literally “flowing with milk and honey.” Moses was using a metaphor to describe the land they would be traveling to would be beautiful and productive. In other words, “We’ll have everything we need, fellas, to survive in the wilderness.” Moses wanted to give the people a visualization of what the place would look like. Every time the grumbling started, I imagine Moses just shouted out the words, “Milk and honey, people. Milk and honey. Let’s keep moving.” That metaphor is also a reminder of what our life with Christ is like after we leave behind our slavery to sin. You may be going through a divorce or unemployment right now, but the cow isn’t always gong to be dry. We need to remind ourselves that “milk and honey” is coming. Sweet!

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to not turn back and think of my past with honesty. Help me not to deceive myself that life was so grand in my past sinful life. Help me to remember that my life with you truly is “milk and honey.” Amen

This week’s reading plan can be found at

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