Boundaries of the Promised Land

Open Your Bible

Numbers 34:1-29, Numbers 35:1-34, Numbers 36:1-13, Psalm 16:6, Hebrews 4:1-7

Some of my favorite books as a child were massive fantasy novels with intricate filigree covers and an Old World look to them. Think of The Lord of the Rings or Eragon, stories set in magical lands that a brilliant author’s imagination constructed from nothing. The inner cover was usually a map of the magical world inside the book, and I used to spend those first few minutes orienting myself with the places that would be the backdrop of the great adventure I was about to read. And of course these maps always had the most unusual, unpronounceable names!

Reading places like “the Wilderness of Zin” or “from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt” made me think of those maps. What’s even more impressive is that the names in Numbers 34 aren’t from the mind of a whimsical author—these are actual cities and communities, real forests and deserts, well-known roadways and borders. As Israel wandered through the wilderness, they may have passed by these boundaries and wondered when it would be their turn to step into all God had promised. They may have been filled with impatience as they sat across the river, seeing the good land the Lord was waiting to give to them. And can you imagine being a child born in the wilderness, now grown into adulthood, hearing Moses speak the words your parents had said would come? From this sea to that mountain, from one city to another, this is your home. What sweet relief in seeing God’s promise on the brink of fulfillment!

And yet there’s still an inescapable tension to hold as I read this chapter. I don’t know why this land was chosen specifically or how to unravel what was to happen to the people already inhabiting the places given to Israel. I don’t know what the Canaanites thought when they saw a massive army and nation on the other side of their borders. I don’t know how I would feel if I were a Moabite or an Edomite and it was my home being taken by a foreign invader. 

When I read Numbers 34, I see a lot of my own inner turmoil at living in the now and not yet of God’s promise. In the present day, my home is in Christ and the peace of being in relationship with God because of Jesus. Thanks be to God for that! But I also wonder why non-believing friends I love fiercely are still far from God or why the injustice and pain in our world isn’t just stopped once and for all. 

What I do know is that our God is good and His love extends to all of His creation. Because He is good, He will do the things in His timing that make the most good for His beloved. While there’s so much between the lines and in the untold stories of history that we don’t know, I have faith in God’s goodness. 

And thanks be to God for that, as well.

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69 thoughts on "Boundaries of the Promised Land"

  1. Noelle kaiser says:

    Prayers that I would be bold and willing to witness to my coworkers

    1. Kim J. G. says:


  2. Aimee D-R says:


  3. Patricia Lefner says:


  4. Diana Yelverton says:


  5. Linda in NC says:

    Haven’t commented lately mainly because I still can only see a few comments.
    Wondering how things are with Lynne in Alabama and others with continuing physical/family crises. I continue to pray.
    Life as a caregiver remains busy and with daily surprises or crisis! God is faithful and so good. Strength to face another day comes only from Him!❤

    1. Rhonda J. says:

      Prayers Linda! And for our dear Lynn and GramsieSue

  6. Rhonda J. says:

    Yep..after I changed. :/
    I only then see from where I commented to below, the more recent disappear.
    @Mercy-Glad you were able to see them all today!
    @Donna W sorry you were not :/ It does seem crazy of why it’s taking so long to get the kinks out.
    @Traci G- Most people feel that way about numbers! lol. But I thought the devotionals and added scripture was very insightful! Glad you stuck with it.

    1. Web-iphone-no longer Safari says:

      It is probably hard for the tech team because there are just comments but few details by people having problems. Are you using the app or the website? What device are you using? Computer or phone? Is your phone android or apple? What browser are you using? God may know all your details, but the tech teams does not.

      I would assume these would be best addressed in email that can be sort out rather than reading through comments (especially if they aren’t seeing them all either!)

      Prayers and solutions in the comment are helpful, like the suggestion to select reply to comment and then cancel has helped me at times as well as using Duck Duck Go for browser.

      1. Michelle P says:

        This is spam

  7. Donna Wolcott says:

    Mercy, I’m glad you could see all, I only can see 6 and none from the morning. This was definitely a difficult book to read and several people I mentioned that I was doing the study, looked at me and said “why”. LOL Times were different and difficult and I often wonder where I would have fit in during these years. All I can say is THANK YOU Jesus! Prayers for those needs and joys!

  8. Mercy says:

    I feel so blessed to be able to read ALL your comments this morning. Thank you SRT Tech team. The Lord has blessed us and answered. This Numbers book is hard to read, the difficult phases in history for the Israelites were revealed, despite all the promises, struggles were still present, also mirrored in our current difficulties and wanderings. We long for something this earth cannot give, for our home is in Heaven with God. The aching still goes on. But amidst the wanderings and the heartaches, I will choose to proclaim, as a sojourner, “the lines have fallen for my for me in pleasant places, indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance”, “the Lord is my chosen portion”, “therefore my heart is glad, my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure”.
    @TINA: I teared up again.
    @KELLY (NEO): that must have been so hard. I also moved a lot during my college years living alone, and I didn’t dare to settle, or to get a piece of home decor, or more clothes or anything, for fear I wouldn’t be able to manage the next move on my own.
    @SEARCHING: prayers for your friend with kidney cancer, grace, provision, strength on this journey of healing.
    @RHONDA J: prayers for Olympia to be strengthened by God’s power.
    @MICHELLE P: were you able to read all the comments today? I dared not to hit direct reply under anyone’s post for fear it will block me from seeing all posts again lol. Thinking of you today girl.

    I hope you all will have a wonderful weekend.

    Be blessed dear sisters.

    1. Julia C says:


    2. Michelle P says:

      Hey Mercy :) I can see as far as Traci G’s post. I started doing the reading this morning and ended up using my quiet time to pray about some things that were on my heart. So checking in pretty late again to check posts now…
      Was thankful to see your reply yesterday as well as everyone’s response to my prayer request. ❤️

      Grateful for you all!!

  9. Catherine McVey says:

    ❤️❤️ thank you Tina!

  10. Cheryl Blow says:

    I have faith to trust God because He is good! That is what we must choose. Trust God and follow Him. He will lead us and protect us and get us safely to the promised land.

  11. Gwineth52 says:

    Again, Dear Shes, letting these words by the author in our devotion of the day, sink & settle in…

    “And yet there’s still an inescapable tension to hold as I read this chapter. I don’t know why this land was chosen specifically or how to unravel what was to happen to the people already inhabiting the places given to Israel. I don’t know what the Canaanites thought when they saw a massive army and nation on the other side of their borders. I don’t know how I would feel if I were a Moabite or an Edomite and it was my home being taken by a foreign invader.”

    Yes, my heart keeps harkening back to the horrific conflict in the Middle East & brutal battles over lands & homes & heritage & tradition. But as I wrote yesterday, in the face of grief & fear, I know I am called to pray without cease for peace & freedom. In whatever new world order the Lord is building. I must, must, must trust.

    1. Julia C says:

      Joining you in prayer for peace and freedom ❤️

  12. Traci Gendron says:

    I’m not sure why, but I haven’t enjoyed the study as much as the rest of you. In todays scripture I kept thinking, how do you accidentally kill someone. How often did they kill each other?? There was so much on this. I didn’t see what all you have. Shame on me for only seeing the negative.

    1. Julia C says:

      From the Enduring Word commentary:

      “The one who accidentally killed another person needed protection from the avenger. In the ancient culture of Israel, it was not left entirely up to the government to avenge a murder. Each extended family had a recognized avenger who would ensure that one who murdered a family member would likewise be killed. The institution of the family avenger was never commanded in Scripture; it was a broad cultural practice that was regulated by Scripture.

      The use of the avenger had its purpose in a culture without sufficiently developed institutions of justice. Yet, it also had a critical weakness. What if the avenger hunted someone, who had accidently killed another person but had not murdered them? What if a death was accidental, yet it was difficult to prove that it was accidental?

      i. We can picture the situation easily: Two men work together, chopping down trees, when one man swings an ax and the ax head flies off, striking the other man in the head and instantly killing him. The surviving man had good reason to believe the avenger of blood from the dead man’s family would track him down and kill him, believing the death was murder.

      iii. Therefore, such a man could flee to a city of refuge – an appointed Levitical city, where he could stay, safe from the avenger of blood, until he could stand before the congregation in judgment and he could leave the city of refuge safely.”

      Hope this helps, dear Traci!

    2. Margaret W says:

      In our culture, accidental killings happen everyday from automobile accidents, medical mistakes, job injuries. My guess is that is as common now, if not more so, than in ancient times. In

    3. Susan L says:

      I read a book series by Connilynn Cosette called “The Cities of Refuge” which really helped me to understand them! Highly recommend !

  13. Amber says:

    To have the job as the “Avenger of Blood” in the Israelite community. The righteous executioner.
    Would that job get easier over time or more heart-breaking?
    How desperately we have always needed you, Lord Jesus. Your sacrifice avenged all of the blood spilt in our hatred and sin. We will always be most undeserving of such mercy.

    1. Leanna Thompson says:


  14. Rhonda J. says:

    Hi She’s!
    Love the study and devotional today! And all your insightful comments! Such a beautiful community! It is a blessing to think back and see all the intricate details of our lives and how it weaves through the valleys, wilderness, beauty, mountains..and into the promise land eventually. I love how Numbers demonstrates all of this to us to give us and understanding and faith, and boundaries. The Bible, the book of God and His instructions…it is so vital that we are in it daily and gleaning from it. The living and moving can even Christians not read it? I just don’t get it, even though I did not until 2014. I will be forever grateful that I started after my mom passed in that year, and God showed me a vision often of her sitting at her table every morning (like most of us in “our spot” with a view of whatever it is in our midst…hers was looking out at her dream farm with dogs and cats, and birds..and horses). BUT GOD, needed me to see the importance, and how I saw so much wisdom in my mother, and wanted that–then I too must value and be in the word. Thankfully I found SRT shortly after that, because you can’t really use a daily Bible in a year, and just try to make it make sense and check the day. (although that is a good place to start!) But…I needed to WANT to ingest it to be my manna…my nutrients for the day. And it did become just that. Because I knew Jesus Saves, and will let me enter those pearly gates one day…but I craved more, wanted more…wanted Him LORD of my LIFE!!

    That is where it’s at my friends, and it starts in word. Thank you Jesus, for being my Savior and LORD of my Life. “If I got Jesus”…I got all I ever need. He is my safe place, my all. By Ben Fuller.

    If you could pray for my friend from jail ministry- Olympia. That God will give her comfort today and keep her strong in her faith and struggle. Thank you She’s!

    1. Julia C says:

      Sending ❤️ to you. Praying for Olympia, that she may experience God’s comforting and peaceful presence.

  15. Mari V says:

    Good morning Sweet SHE’s and HAPPY FRIDAY! What I know about God is that HE IS GOOD! Yes! He is!!! I know that some of us have experienced hard times,painful, even to the point that we can’t even breathe or can’t imagine when will it end. BUT it does!! Even when its painful and hard, God is still good. I know because that was me a few years ago. Even when facing the hardest time of my life, I held onto my JESUS know that HE was right beside me. I can honestly say I did not blame God, however I did ask “why” or “when” will this end. Sigh…..I held onto my Jesus and trusted Him, and here I am ONLY because of my JESUS! He gets ALL the glory! TODAY is the last day of school! The last time I will be with these sweet kinders who will go into FIRST grade! I will MISS them GREATLY! They are all my sweeties! Even the hard ones. I was privileged to be part of their precious little lives! I will miss them GREATLY!

    1. Julia C says:

      Dear Mari V, did you already find a summer job? Praying God leads and provides!

    2. Rhonda J. says:

      Yes Amen Mari!! Love your Spirit and joy! I can’t believe your first year is done! Prayers that something will come through and you can enjoy your summer with your kiddos!

  16. Kimberly Z says:

    He will do good in his timing. Wowza isn’t that the truth? A family in my town recently lost their father in a tragic car accident. My friend and I were discussing how truly awful it was and how badly we felt for their family. Luckily they all have a strong faith so I have no doubt they’ll all band together but God does alot of mysterious sometimes hurtful things in his timing. I pray they’ll be able to see that one day and feel that his timing was everything. I have I felt angry at times and grateful at times. But Gods timing truly is unmatched. Happy Friday ladies. Praying for you all today.

    1. Rhonda J. says:

      Yes, and you are a great example of keeping faith through the hard with your own dad’s accident. It must still be hard to grapple through the Why’s sometimes, but you are always so positive about it!
      How’s your relationship going? (with bf) Still good?

  17. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    “What I do know is that our God is good and His love extends to all of His creation. Because He is good, He will do the things in His timing that make the most good for His beloved.” God is good all the time, even when war breaks out or disasters happen.

    War is a horrible thing, but God allows it and sometimes commands it, like when He instructed the Israelites to take over the land of the enemies and kill all of the inhabitants – men, women, children and even the livestock.

    To us, it doesn’t make sense, but to God it does. He is a God of authority and order as we see in these chapters we just read. He instituted boundaries and laws that were to be strictly followed or consequences would be had. Boundaries have their place, they are very much needed, for our good and God’s glory and it is a very wise thing – not to mess with them, but trust in God’s wisdom and faithfulness.

    Have a blessed Friday sisters. God is good all the time, all the time God is good!❤️

    1. Rhonda J. says:

      Amen! Always appreciate your perspective!

  18. Cee Gee says:

    What a study this has been.
    Between the wilderness wanderings and our wandering and wondering in the comments as we adjusted to techie changes – Phew! I am ready for the peace of the Psalms!

    Psalm 16:6 always blankets my soul with peace. Psalm 16 ends with this:

    “You will show me the path of life;
    In Your presence is fullness of joy;
    At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” NKJV Amen!

    And, this is the verse of the day on Biblegateway:

    1 Thessalonians 4:16-17!!!

    For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

    THANK YOU AGAIN, SRT STAFF, for making God’s Word so ‘knowable’! And thank you for striving to improve our community!
    Love you sisters! ❤

  19. Erica Chiarelli says:

    Our home is not here, we are passing through and we can’t even fathom what our home in heaven will be like. “no eye has seen nor has it entered in our hearts what the Father has for us”!!! But even now we can walk and live in His rest, hallelujah for it all! All because of Jesus!

  20. Jennifer Fees says:

    I am so thankful for this study. I have learned that in every Bible study that I have participated in, God tends to apply these lessons to my own life. As of currently, I am in the job search and I wonder if I will ever see the day where I will be offered the job that God has in store for me. There are days that I doubt like the Israelites, but I am also reminded of God’s faithfulness and that He has already gone before me.

  21. Allison Bentley says:

    Psalm 16:6 “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” This is the perfect closing verse!!! Figuratively and spiritually!! God is good sisters! Thank you all (especially our regulars) for your daily dose of goodness!! Kelly NEO and Tina I resonated with both your stories today! As the SRT ladies always remind us the Bible is living and active in all our lives today too!!! Love doing life with you all!! ☮️❤️ this Friday!

  22. Shannon McGuffin says:

    ….that give us hope and a future. Thank you faithful She’s – I love doing this walk with you all! ❤️

  23. Shannon McGuffin says:

    Did you ever think you would say, “I read and studied the entire book of Numbers?” I did not, but we did! I learned so much about God and the Israelites and what faithfulness looks like on both sides. As we too wander in the wilderness between the already and not yet, I want the lessons I learned in Numbers to remind me that God is good, just and has plans for us

  24. Searching says:

    From Kayla’s “And yet there’s still an inescapable tension …” through to the end “And thanks be to God for that, as well” – amen and amen.

    The verses for today on BG fit right in:
    1 Thessalonians 4: 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

    He is always with us now, and for eternity we will always be with Him. Hallelujah!

    Ongoing prayer request for friend whose husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer last month – they are headed back to out-of-town specialist Monday for further evaluation and hopefully a treatment plan. Praying for the med team, safe travels and financial provision.

    Sisters, this has been a great study that I have enjoyed and learned from more than I ever imagined. Looking forward to the next one! ❤️

    DANIELLE B – praying for your sister
    MICHELLE P – praying for you in the waiting, and for your family ❤️
    RHONDA J – may the Lord continue to bless your jail ministry, that hearts and minds would turn to Jesus
    KELLY (NEO), TINA, CEE GEE, JULIA C, TRICIA C and so many more ❤️

    1. Julia C says:

      Joining you in prayer for your friend and husband ❤️

    2. Cee Gee says:

      Somehow I missed your comment this morning! Your reflections on our study have been so good! Thank you for using your gift here! Prayers for your friends (per your request) as they make the trip Monday. ❤

  25. Adrienne says:

    I love this portion of the third verse from the Hebrews part of our reading… “For we who have believed enter the rest, in keeping with what he has said,”

    I can’t sleep. I will go back to bed and pray to enter His rest. ❤️

    Have a blessed Friday, sweet She’s!

  26. Kelly (NEO) says:

    My parents divorced when I was 4. Between the ages of 4 and 18, I lived in 9 places. Seemed like we were always moving. So I so relate to “my home is in Christ and the peace of being in relationship with God because of Jesus.”

    CHERRIE BREWER – it is nice to see you commenting

    1. Adrienne says:


    2. Cee Gee says:

    3. Julia C says:


  27. Julia C says:

    “What I do know is that our God is good and His love extends to all of His creation. Because He is good, He will do the things in His timing that make the most good for His beloved. While there’s so much between the lines and in the untold stories of history that we don’t know, I have faith in God’s goodness.”

    Thank you, KAYLA DE LA TORRE for closing -this study so beautifully.

    From the song His Glory & My Good by CityAlight:

    There is hope in every trial
    For I can trust the Lord
    He will turn my heart towards Him
    And help me bear the thorn

    So in faith I follow Jesus
    On the road not understood
    For I know that He is working
    For His glory and my good

    To our God be the glory
    To our God be praise
    He alone, the name above all names
    I will boast ever only in the Lord my God
    For I know
    His glory is my good

    (Words and Music by Jonny Robinson, Rich Thompson & Ben Fielding)

    1. Kelly (NEO) says:

      Thank you

    2. Adrienne says:


    3. Laura Dianne says:

      You said perfectly what my heart was feeling today as I read these scriptures. This line from the devotional: “While there’s so much between the lines and in the untold stories of history that we don’t know, I have faith in God’s goodness.” Yes and amen!

    4. Cee Gee says:

      You expressed my takeaway as well, Julia, and shared one of the quotes I had chosen to share.
      LAURA DIANNE shared the other quote! ❤
      I will go listen to your song!

    5. Rhonda J. says:

      Yes, Amen Julia!
      I have never heard this song, and love it! Thanks for sharing, and the prayer my heart can repeat!!

      I hate to push enter..because it takes me out of comments.

      So an amen to other comments above..ALL SO GOOD thank you, she’s!

  28. Tina says:

    When we decided to move house, all those years ago, oh my, did we look at a lot of houses,, the children got bored looking! The older two, gave us instructions that until, we, the parents, had found ‘the house’ they would not be coming to look with us!
    We looked at a LOT!
    From the moment we walked through the gate of ‘the house’ we knew, we just knew and when the husband opened the front door to welcome us in, we, the parents, literally had tears. Everything about this 100year old house was perfect and to our liking, from the cottage style sitting room with fireplace, to the large kitchen thst could happily welcome guests to come share with us, to the little details in each bedroom. We had found our place, our forever home and our hearts were full to bursting..
    However, we had to wait 6 months to move in! Our buyers had discovered the wife had cancer, and were not sure what to do.. we waited, and whilst we waited our youngest moved to the local school and every day, no word of a lie, I would stop outside the house just dreaming of our litte family unit, happy in this house! For the last 3 months of the wait, the owners would invite me in when they saw me outside for tea and a chat ( they were lovely), allowed me to measure for curtains, size up rooms and where wardrobes and chests would go.. I virtually lived there!

    I could not wait to move in!

    I can imagine the wait and anticipation for the Israelites, though I did not have to wait 40 years, the anticipation of life being as perfect as could dream, or finally being lived as it should, in the freedom of space, freedom, permanence and love.
    I sit now, as I do the bible study, in the kitchen, looking out onto the garden that has had all sorts of games played in it, but now silent except for the birdsong and the morning sun covering the roses in bloom. Still perfect and homely, wrapped in memories of life lived here full and blessed, but also tinged with sadness, of hearts broken, and now an empty nest.
    This was/is a promised land in a way, a gift from God, a place to call home, a sanctuary for many.
    I have seen God’s hand over the years, in many situations, worries, niggles, loss, fears..

    BUT GOD..

    Dear wonderful faithful God, He brought us, my family here, brought ME here to this house, knowing what the future would hold, but also knowing I would be okay, because He would be with me, leading, guiding, directing, teaching. He covers me in His love and grace, He Provides and He is merciful. He is near as I draw near to Him.. and I am gratefully thankful.. every day!

    Thank you Lord God, that your word and promises are true, and faith-filling, bring hope.. always. Thank you Lord God, Thank you..


    I have definitely waffled!

    Happy Friday dear hearts covered in much love and hugs wrapped in prayers. ♥️

    1. Julia C says:

      Thank you, dear Tina, for your beautiful God-filled stories ❤️ His Presence is the greatest blessing we can have on this earth.

    2. Kelly (NEO) says:


    3. Adrienne says:


    4. Karen Elizabeth says:

      This is just beautiful. Thank you ❤️

    5. Cee Gee says:

      How beautiful, Tina! I could picture everything you described! I will take your waffles anytime with just a bit of syrup. Lol ❤

    6. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:


    7. GramsieSue says:

      So beautifully written.
      I can relate. We waited so long for our home to sell so many years ago. And this home has seen many things in our lives. But God…
      He has always been with us.
      Thanks for your beautiful words, Tina

    8. Kim Buttonberry says:

      Oh, Tina- what a beautiful account of your journey!

      I can relate a bit, thinking about our experience of finally moving out to the ‘country’ after a long real estate experience. I enjoy my garden and flowers at this time of year, along with my dogs and birds in the morning.

      But my house is quiet these days as well. In the past, filled with boisterous boys, rock and roll, skirmishes, and lots of laughter, too. I miss those days, and them- all in other places where they built their own lives.

      Oh, but the faithfulness of God! I have certainly been blessed, through good times and the challenges, too.

      Have a wonderful weekend, dear Tina!

    9. Rhonda J. says:

      OH SO GOOD Tina (Turner! lol)
      This is a beautiful story!! I thought of my lovely, Florida home now..that I had dreamed, and searched for so long in my heart!! I was even standing outside this morning thinking of how we walked in a KNEW this was it!! All the details I had dreamed but never thought we find in such a perfect way! We KNEW this was the perfect home for us as empty nesters!! It hasn’t been perfect as far as “a couple living in complete giddiness of living their dream life!” Nothing is ever perfect..I’m hot..even though I thought I would love hot every day, we argue over the silly stuff seemly daily, I miss my son and grands…and on and on. Thank God we have a heavenly home on the horizon that we know will TOTALLY FULLFILL us like never before! I do love my home and place in life right now…but forever long for heaven in my heart…a peace everlasting. I want to see a picture of your lovely house and garden..a picture of your table where you study and look out on the roses…please share on FB!! (that’s what I love about our FB PAGE! )
      Love and hugs always dear Tina that blesses us so much with your heart! Makes me miss our dear Church mouse…hope and praying she is well and will come back soon here at SRT. (and JLJ…oh how Julia reminds me of her!) And I miss our sweet Dorothy!

      1. Tina says:

        RHONDA J, I know! I miss Churchmouse too, a lot! I’ve been reading over last studies, and my heart jumps each time I see her name and DOROTHY and Angie.. I do pray ANGIE and cChurchmouse are okay , like you said..❤

    10. LindaK says:


    11. Lexi B says:

      This is beautiful, thank you Tina!

      1. MARTHA HIX says:


    12. D W says:

      Beautifully said! I can so relate to this in my stage of life!

    13. Susan L says: