The Promised Land is not solely about geography. Not just natural resources. The primary benefit of the Promised Land is a place of opportunity. Opportunity for the children of Israel to make decisions for themselves. In Egypt they had to do as they were told. They were slaves. Victims without choices.

In this passage God promised that if his children made good choices they would have good consequences, and if they made bad choices they would have bad consequences. It’s now up to them. It is an invitation to be good stewards of their freedom. The principle applies to us as well.

The Promised Land was not a place of ease. It certainly had desirable qualities. Excellent land to cultivate. Hills from which to dig copper. A plentiful terrain in a strategic location. But when they entered the land, the manna ceased. When Israel crossed the Jordan, the blessings of God stopped showing up on the ground every morning. They could no longer reap without sowing. Now the blessings of God came through their labor. They now had to plant and wait if they wanted to eat.

In the same way, we will harvest the results of our choices. Our choices are investments. They are like seeds we sow. We can invest in superficial manifestations. We can focus on appearances, cosmetic solutions. If we invest in the superficial, we will reap the superficial. And we will miss blessings we could have received.

Our lives are like the Promised Land. An opportunity to make choices. We are not slaves, but free. It was for freedom Christ set us free. But we get to choose what sort of steward to be. If we steward our choices well, God promises we will reap life.

“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.”
– Deuteronomy 30:15-18