It was several years ago when I first noticed it while reading Psalm 37. Over and over again, the same phrase … “inherit the earth / inherit the land” And I thought to myself, what in the world does that mean? Obviously, something significant or it wouldn’t be repeated so often – but what? So like I often did (and still do), I just sort of tucked it away in my heart with a note attached that said ‘this means something to me, but I don’t yet know what’.
[Have you ever had that happen to you? Read something in the Bible that resonates deeply within your spirit, but not understood the meaning or significance of it at the time? Do you also just set it aside for a while until God brings you back to it at a later time?]
Well, here we are in 2014, and recently God has brought that phrase back to me. It felt rather like a “re-awakening” of something unsettled in my spirit, and as sometimes happens when God begins to stir something up within you, I began noticing references to ‘inheriting the land’ appearing almost everywhere! Preachers I listen to started using it in podcasts. Devotional readings included it. Worship songs sing of it.
By now I am really starting to get hungry for knowledge … I want to know what this means to me Lord! What are You saying to me?
So I dug a little further, and this is what my NKJV Study Bible has to say about Psalm 37:3 … ‘Eight times the thought of dwell in the land, or inherit the land, is mentioned, showing to the righteous Jews that their future is secure.’ And I think it may have been from a podcast teaching (or perhaps someplace else in my Study Bible?), that I also learned that:
To “inherit the land” is to receive from the Lord secure entitlement (for them and their children) the promised land (redeemed sphere and bountiful source of provision).
Now I don’t know about you, but that lights my fire! And the more I studied, the more excited I got! The Bible is filled with scriptures speaking of ‘inheriting the land’, which I now understand is the promise of ‘a secure entitlement’ that is generational, and of the inheritance of a ‘redeemed sphere’ that is well able to supply far above my need (be it for finances, for relationship, for healing, for protection, or whatever the need). That is some Good News, folks – and it inspired a the following painting.
God is so funny! I just love the way that He works with me, talks to me, and sometimes even paints with me! This painting started out as a mess (as had the other 5 attempts to paint based on my own limited skill and ability). But I’ve discovered that when the Lord is painting with me – somehow the ‘oops-ies’ turn out to be something useful in time, and much to my surprise over the course of about 3 weeks this picture emerged, complete with dry and barren mountains in the background contrasted by lush and fertile fields in the foreground. (And to think I almost tossed it after the 1st night!) The river was added at the end, by inspiration of the Lord, and immediately made me think of the Israelites crossing over the River Jordan to the Promised Land.
“So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant – when you have eaten and are full, then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. … (for the LORD your God is a jealous God among you)…” (Deuteronomy 6:10-12, 15 abbreviated)
Where are you in your journey, my friend? As you read through Psalm 37 on your own, be encouraged. We all go through desert seasons. We all face enemies. We all have rivers to cross. But praise God, we also all have the promise of the abundant life calling us forward into greater and greater life with Him.
Keep pressing on – and go take possession of all that God has promised is yours, through Christ Jesus!