Go, Walk Through the Length and Breadth
of the Land, for I am Giving it to You

13: 14-17

DIG: In response to Abram’s faith, what new promise does ADONAI give? Why wasn’t Abram concerned about which land Lot took to settle in? When will Abraham physically possess all the Land that the LORD promised to him? What did God confirm in this promise? Why does this verse disturb Amillennialists?

REFLECT: About what one thing might ADONAI be asking you to “lift up your eyes... look... see...go, walk?” Is there a separation in your life that needs to take place before God can talk to you? Are you enjoying what the LORD has promised you?

Abram was now alone and it was at that time that the LORD of mercy spoke to him. The Lord did not talk to Abram until after Lot had parted from him. This is the second of seven times that Abram receives direct revelation from ADONAI (12:1-7, here, 15:1-21, 17:1-21, 18:1-33, 21:12-13 and 22:1-18). Then He said to him,Lift up your eyes (18:2 and 22:13) from where you are and look north and south, east and west” (13:14). This is the same place from which Lot had looked. So all that Abram sees, Lot already saw. This included the Land that Lot chose for himself.

Because Abram was now alone, the purpose of the Lord was finally realized. ADONAI called him alone (NKJ Isaiah 51:2). He had said: Leave your country and your people and go to the Land I will show you (Acts 7:3). But Abram went to Haran with his father (11:31-32), and came to Canaan with Lot. But finally, Lot was gone and Abram was left alone with Elohim. It was not a coincidence that it was not until this point that the LORD would say: All the Land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever (13:15). So Abram had not lost the best land, because God was giving him the whole land of Canaan. All of it would be his, including that well-watered pasture in the plain.

Previously, the LORD said that Abram’s offspring would inherit the Land. Now He promised that Abram himself would have it forever. Abram never actually owned the Land during his lifetime. Nor, for most of human history, have his offspring actually possessed the land. The nation of Israel has currently regained partial possession of it. The word forever, literally means for an age, because it is during the Messianic Age that the Jewish people will enjoy all of the Promised Land (see my commentary on Revelation Fj – My Chosen People Will Inherit My Mountains). Once again the difference between Abram and Lot are dramatic. Abram waited for God to give it to him, while Lot took it for himself.

Previously, ADONAI had said that Abram would have offspring. Now He said that Abram would have an uncountable number of them. Therefore, Abram had not lost family by being obedient to His calling and leaving Haran. The LORD said: I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted (13:16).

We have three different idioms for Zera Avraham, or the seed of Abraham: the sand on the seashore (22:17 and 32:12), the dust of the earth and the stars in the sky. Abraham would be the spiritual father of all who believe (Romans 4:11) and from him came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore (Hebrews 11:12). God’s perfect plan was accomplished through Zera Avraha, the seed of Abraham. The seed is Messiah Yeshua, who came so that those of every tribe and tongue and nation could find life through Him (Galatians 3:16).

ADONAI told him, Go, walk through the length, north and south, and breadth of the Land, east and west.” This is the first Holy Land tour. Abraham is to prophetically take physical possession of the Land because he would not own it during his lifetime, only during the messianic Kingdom. He would own it then because God said: I AM giving it to you (13:17). This is the second confirmation of God’s covenant with Abraham (12:1-3, here, 15:7-21, 17:1-8 and 22:15-18). It was as though the LORD had said to Abram: I have called you into this Land, I have given it to you and your descendants; now enjoy it. He was to travel through the Promised Land and look upon it as already his, his by faith because he had God’s word on it. Abram was to act as if it were already his absolute possession. And is this not what ADONAI invites His people to do today? We, too, have received a call to separate ourselves from the world. We too have been called into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven (First Peter 1:4). In other words, we are called to exercise of faith; not to look at the things that are seen, but at the things above, and not upon things below. In short, we are to enjoy what God has promised us.244

Verses like this make the amillennial view indefensible. Amillennialists believe that the Land is nothing but a symbol of heaven. But is ADONAI asking Abram to come up to heaven to take a look around to see if he likes it because someday he will be able to possess it? This is hardly the meaning of the text. This verse is talking about the Land that Abram was standing on, and he is told to walk all over it because some day he is going to possess it. We cannot spiritualize these verses away to fit a preconceived theology. There is no doubt that the Renewed Covenant teaches that Abraham longed for a better country, a heavenly one (Hebrews 11:16), but one does not contradict the other. We cannot relegate this verse to a mere promise of heaven because it would make the entire passage meaningless.

Therefore, what started out as a negative situation of discontent, quarreling, and friction turned out to be a positive one of divine promise and blessing.

 

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