"Your clothes did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years." Deut. 8:4
I'm a self-confessed clothes horse, a propensity I inherited from my late father. My dad was the only person I knew who wore a shirt and tie to the grocery store. He was well up in years before he relented and bought his first pair of jeans, something unthinkable when he was younger. When it comes to shoes, I'm no Imelda Marcos, but I do have a collection.
The idea of wearing the same thing for forty years makes me shudder. How boring! Traipsing around the wilderness without a clothing store in sight (or internet access and Amazon) would be torturous. Now, upon entering the Promised Land, all this would change.
I'm also a tenderfoot. In the peak of summer's heat I might make limited excursions outdoors barefoot. I confine my movements to the porch or driveway. Walk barefoot in the grass? Nothing doing with fire ants, ground wasps and other critters abounding.
God always has a method to His madness. Shoes/sandals were mandatory in the wilderness. In order to take possession of the Promised Land, barefootin' was now necessary.
"I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I have promised Moses." Joshua 1:3
In order to receive their inheritance, the Israelites had to walk the land barefoot. As they did their DNA transferred to the soil, marking it as theirs. Their feet, shod in the desert, prevented them from being tied to what was less than God's best for them. So, does this mean we should go around barefoot and mark our territory? One religious group does. Maybe it's not as crazy as it sounds. What can we learn from the Israelites adventures in barefootin'?
First, when we find ourselves in Same Old Same Old, going no where fast, God may be preventing us from barefootin' that environment. It isn't our destiny.
Second, although the Promised Land was theirs, it wasn't the Israelites' final destination.
above was. That said, in the interim they were to drive out the squatters,
occupy, and make the land productive. Most importantly, they were to establish
a nation based on the worship of the One True God. Israel was to demonstrate stability and sanity to the chaotic world surrounding them.
Jesus taught His followers to pray accordingly: "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Matt. 6:10.
As believers we're charged to exert governmental authority over the land and also over spiritual forces (not other people) bent on humanity's destruction. Although earth isn't our permanent home, we're to take up residence and establish God's kingdom here, now. By doing so we will be the calm in the storms that bombard mankind, provide a means of escape to those in need and demonstrate a new way of living.
How about you? Are you ready to go barefootin' in order to claim territory for God's kingdom? What can you do to be an occupant as opposed to a squatter. If you're a tenderfoot, how can you toughen up your soles/soul in order to take ground?