Perhaps the most attractive aspect of the Bible is its promises – the stories of lives restored, of care assured in the form of safety and health.
There’s one all-encompassing promise, which is particularly significant in light of longstanding strife between peoples over their homelands and even today’s ongoing problem of home foreclosures. God’s great encompassing promise speaks of a glory-filled kingdom to sustain us. Really, fulfillment of any of God’s promises comes from what we discover of this kingdom or “promised land.”
The patriarch Abraham is first recorded as hearing such a promise. God said: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee” (Genesis 12:1).
Later, God is recorded as saying to Moses, “Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 33:1-3).
It sounds as if Abraham was guided to – and his descendants were guided back to – merely a plot of ground, maybe with good soil and water springs. It also can sound as if others were to be deprived of this ground. But further Scriptural revelations paint a more meaningful picture – one that accommodates all humanity.
Moses realized that the homeland God promises us includes freedom from the strife of warring peoples. And, as Abraham sensed, it’s free of the limitations marking human history. The promised land God reveals isn’t one that’s limited by human nature. It’s actually the life set forth by our divine creator. Christ Jesus presented centuries later a life-transforming revelation: “The kingdom of God is within you.” To me this means the promised land is not a particular place, but it’s brought about from within consciousness.
Here are some characteristics of the promised land or kingdom of God:
- It’s the life of God, divine Mind, and its ideas. And it’s composed of “milk and honey,” which symbolize the sustenance we need.
- It’s not run by materialism with life defined by personal biases or limits. Rather, it’s governed by divine Mind, Soul, and involves the unfolding of limitless, good activity.
- The sustenance it brings is “flowing”; it’s abundant. There is enough for everyone. So there is no clash or chafing of wills. The prophet Isaiah understood this life or kingdom and wrote, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them” (11:6).
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, identified in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” what I believe is this homeland that belongs to each of us. In her description of the “kingdom of heaven,” she wrote: “The reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme” (p. 590).
Living in this kingdom is actually our natural experience, because it’s the life God created for us. To see it clearly, we need a more spiritual or God-based sense of things. This kingdom of heaven is not an abstraction or a far-off destination. It’s an understanding that’s practical in our lives today. In fact, this concept was key for me in finding a safe and accommodating home for my family. And it’s what helps me pray for people around the world to know that they, too, experience purpose, home, security, and well-being. What’s promised to everyone will be fulfilled.
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