Posted by: Heather | July 18, 2009

More on Massei

FFOZ let me down this week. In the commentary on Massei (Numbers 33:1 – 36:13), the writers attempt to explain the relevance of the land of Israel to non-Jewish and Jewish believers in Christ. They admit that many Christians find the physical descriptions of the land and borders irrelevant, writing, “After all, Christianity provides a spiritual inheritance in heaven, not an earthly inheritance.” If I read Christianity as “non-Jewish followers of Christ,” which seems to be the intended meaning here, then the phrase at the end that non-Jewish followers of Christ are not going to inherit any land on earth is a lie. According to Abraham’s covenant, all the children of Abraham—Jew and non-Jew—inherit the land! There is no Jew and gentile distinction within the covenant of Abraham, which is the covenant of an earthly possession of the land of Israel.

Spiritualizing the Torah is always a bit dangerous if one isn’t careful not to distort the literal meaning. The writers at FFOZ also muse, “In a spiritual sense, the land of Israel is the homeland of all believers…. For a Jewish believer the connection is even more relevant. Not only is the land of Israel the place of his spiritual origin, it is his literal inheritance in this world.” Spiritually, the land of Israel is the homeland of all believers, yes, of course, but that is true literally as well! The “relevant” connection for Jews is equally relevant for non-Jews.

There is only one faith, one Lord, and one body of believers, and it is made up of every tribe, nation, and tongue. The hostile dividing wall between Jew and non-Jew has been destroyed through the work of Yeshua. He reconciled them in his own body. What matters is not a person’s genetic identity but a person’s newly created heart that follows the Torah of God. There is only one assembly of God, so the question to ask believers, the only separating question in the entire household of faith is this: are you in the covenant, or are you out?

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