“But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” Numbers 14:21
Tucked away in the book of Numbers, a book that is often passed over, is this vow of God that the time is coming then His glory will fill the Earth. The prospect of seeing this come to pass should fill the heart of every Christian with joy and longing. What is overlooked is the significance of where and when and under what circumstances this vow was made.
Israel was at the border of the Promised Land, having been led by the Cloud of the Spirit through the Wilderness. Their destiny was to possess the Land and establish the Kingdom. Twelve men were sent in to spy out the Land. The report of the majority was that it was indeed a good Land, but it was occupied by giants in walled cities. The Land was impregnable!
Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, reminded the people that God had given them the Land for their inheritance and He was with them. They couldn’t fail. Israel choose to believe the negative report and incurred God’s anger by refusing to enter the Land. Moses interceded for Israel and God pardoned them. It was then that He made the vow. In effect He said:-
“You won’t possess the Land, but one day a generation will arise who will. It is then that My glory will fill the Earth.” [My paraphrase vs 21-31] God’s glory filling the earth is dependent upon the people of God possessing the Land. The ultimate fulfilment of this promise still lies ahead.
The promises of God belong to the Seed of Abraham. The patriarch had physical Seed – Isaac and his descendants; and he had spiritual Seed – all those in Christ. [Read Galatians 3:16, 29.] These scriptures are pivotal to our understanding of the role of the Church in these end times. They tell us that Abraham’s Seed is One but many. Isaac and Israel together are the physical Seed. [God called them His Son. “Israel is My son My firstborn” Exodus 4:20]. Christ and His Church are the spiritual Seed of Abraham.
To the physical Seed of Abraham, God gave the Land of Canaan for an inheritance; to the spiritual Seed, He gave the Earth. “For the promise that he would be heir of the world, was not given to Abraham, or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Romans 4:13. This is probably a revelation to most Christians. For many years we thought of the Promised Land as Heaven. This is reflected in the many songs that speak of ‘crossing Jordan’ as dying. However the whole Salvation scenario is about reclaiming the Earth for the Kingdom of God. We lost Heaven on Earth at the Fall when Adam transferred his allegiance from God to Satan: Now ‘the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.’ 1 John 5:19. At the Cross Jesus removed Satan’s authority from all who trust in Him and regained the title deeds of the Earth for redeemed Man. It is legally ours, but like the land of Canaan, we have to possess it.
Israel’s journey to and possession of their inheritance is a type or a map, showing us how the spiritual Seed will possess their inheritance. It is then that the glory of God will fill the Earth just as He vowed.
After many years in the Wilderness, a generation arose in Israel who, under Joshua, finally crossed Jordan and conquered the Land. When Solomon, son of David, sat on the throne, the Land was prosperous, the great golden temple was built and Israel came under the rule and blessing of Almighty. This is a faint earthly picture of what it the Earth will be when the Kingdom comes. All that was lost at the Fall will be restored, and King Jesus will sit on the throne.
The end time generation of Overcomers is soon to rise in the Earth. The battle of the ages for possession of the Earth will be fought and won on the battlefield of prayer and through proclamation of the Gospel and the heavenly hosts will join the fray just as they did at Jericho. Then Hell’s strongholds will crumble; Creation will be restored and the Kingdom of God will come ‘on Earth as it is in Heaven.’ AMEN