March 8

Genesis 15; 7-12, 17-18

“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates…’” vs 18

The Hebrews thought of themselves as a covenant people; they had an agreement with God that went all the way back to Abram, the first of their patriarchs. It had been symbolized by the cutting in two of three sacrificial animals by Abram, who then separated the pieces and laid them on the ground. That night in a dream he saw a flaming torch pass between the pieces. This was the “cutting” of the covenant between the Lord and the Hebrews. Not only would they be the Chosen People, they would ultimately receive a huge land grant. It’s this promise that has caused enormous difficulty as Jews and Arabs have struggled for domination in Israel and Palestine. Some Jews say that all the land is theirs, it was given by the Lord to Abram; Palestinians of course have a different perspective. They’ve been living on the land since even before the Hebrews arrived. Some argue that it’s ridiculous to say God actually gave the land to the Jews–it’s just one of their religious beliefs. Of course there is really only one logical solution. Both groups need to learn to respect the heritage of the other and figure out a way to share the land. Whether that will happen seems improbable! Followers of Jesus will do all they can to work for peace and justice for all!

Thought for the Day: What’s the biggest obstacle to peace in the Holy Land?

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