Israel was known as Eretz-Israel which means Land of Israel. (Hebrew for land is Eretz) God gave them land in the covenant – no question, it was their land – and it still is. God gave them borders and told them to care for the land and that the land would be fruitful.
Genesis 26:1-6 – And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I swore unto Abraham thy father. And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my law. And Isaac dwelt in Gerar.
Genesis 26:12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year a hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.
When we stay and sow in the place God commands us, we will reap abundantly and be blessed. The promise of the land.
However, there was still trouble. Because Isaac was blessed, he was asked to move on. They did but strove with the herdsman – they kept digging wells and moving on until there was peace. Then Abimelech came and wanted to do a covenant – Isaac said, “Why are you here, since you hated me and sent me away?” But they did make a covenant. Abimelech recognized God’s hand on him and wanted to get in on a little of it – or just knew that if they came against Jacob, Jacob would win.
Psalm 5:12 – For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
Favor is a protection.
Favor—ratson – delight, acceptance, good pleasure
We need to dwell in the land given to us by God.
We need to protect it and proclaim it as our own.
We need to sow in the place God has given.
What do we sow – goodness, kindness, patience, truth, wisdom, sound practices in our work, gospel, worship, praise. What else can we sow? ____________
We need to share the favor God has given us with others.
2 Chronicles 7:12-16
And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people.
(No if at beginning of this verse – 3 ifs in previous verse) My people who are called by my name (character, authority, mark or memorial, honor) will humble (bend the knee, bring down low) themselves, pray (to judge, intreat, intercede, make supplication), and seek (search out, strive after, beseech, require) my face, and turn from their wicked (adversity, affliction, calamity, evil) ways (course of action); I hear from heaven, and forgive (pardon, spare) their sin (offense, habitual sinfulness, to miss) and heal (cure, repair, mend, make whole) their land (earth, ground, field, nation).
Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there forever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
God continually gives us prayer tools – places, methods, promises, authority.
And notice that when there is drought, locusts, pestilence (plagues), destruction, then His people pray humbly and intently, and with authority because of His promise, His covenant, and seek His face and turn from any course of action that is wicked. And without question God will hear, forgive, and heal their land.
He’ll heal our land, our place of influence, the area where He has positioned us.
This is big.
Prayer is automatic, so to speak, when things go bad. And it’s purposeful and results are promised. We have a responsibility, even when we know perilous times are here, to pray for God to heal our land, to surround us with favor, and to continue to bring about His purposes.
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (foundation of power, realm), And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (labor pains). Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures (perserveres, bear up against adversity, hold out under pressure, stand firm, wait calmly and courageously, active, energetic resistance to defeat) shall be saved. And this gospel will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
We must guard against deception and offense. Offense may well be the biggest sin of the church as well as the cause of great dissension in our culture – you offended me therefore you are evil. Fervent love and forgiveness are so necessary. Offense causes betrayal and more deception, then lawlessness abounds followed by love growing cold. We must endure!!
Kingdoms are realms, foundations of power – places of influence – our land — we see this in our culture today.
Ephesians 3:20 – Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
We have His covenant promised power at work in us – doing exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think. Stand on that!
And recognize the season you are in and your nation is in. And pray accordingly.
Forgive and fight your battles, knowing the Lord has already won it.
Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.’ Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it’ I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.
Read Isaiah 51 for further instruction and encouragement.
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand.