Today is the first Monday of my new “retired status”. It’s time to do some serious refeathering of The Refeathered Nest. I unshackled the golden handcuffs of security (resigned from corporate America). It wasn’t an easy decision. It was one considered and prayed about for a long time. On and off for 2 years, daily for the final year. Yes, it was a decision that was 3 years in the making.
I decided that my first 30 days are to be nothing but mind, body and spirit renewal. This will include much reading of good uplifting books and many studies in the Bible.
When I think about the Children of Israel and how long they journeyed in the wilderness (40 years) my “wilderness journey” to get to this point seems only a vapor. It only took me 3 years to arrive at my “promised land”.
I’m not sure about the land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 33:3), but here in Texas, on a chilly Spring morning, it flows with coffee.
My mind wants to know what did the ancient writer mean when he described the promised land as a land flowing with milk and honey. I was enlightened by a reading I found by Rabbi’s Posner at http://www.chabad.org/. I enjoy reading and learning about the scriptures through the interpretation of the original scriptures. In this instance, Exodus, as all Old Testament scriptures, were originally written in Hebrew. His words are “quotes”. All other words are my own.
“When God spoke to Moses at the burning bush, He informed him that He would redeem the Israelites and bring them to a “good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…”1 Honey here (and elsewhere in the Scriptures) is generally understood to be a reference to fruit nectar, specifically date honey—not bees’ honey.
1) Nachmanides writes that the key word in the verse is “flowing.” Fruit trees grow in many different terrains, but their produce overflow with nectar only when the land is especially fertile, when the trees are particularly well-nourished.
Similarly, livestock survives in many habitats, but only overflow with milk when they are in particularly fertile pastures.
Thus, a “land flowing with milk and honey” is indicative and symptomatic of a greater good—the fertility of the Promised Land.”
The word flowing. When we are walking in God’s purpose and design, His blessings will flow upon us. A blessing is a statement of good and happiness that is said about another, as well as the condition that fulfills those good words. In God’s original design for us as His creation it was for us to experience prosperity, peace, and fulfillment. But that plan was ruined when sin entered the world. But still, the statements of blessing in the scriptures are still God’s desire to restore His favor on us. Of course, the ultimate blessing is that God has given us the new life and forgiveness that comes through Faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. The material blessings we enjoy flowing from day to day are temporary, but the spiritual blessings flowing to to us through Christ go beyond all time and eternity. As the Psalmist said, “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God” (Psalm 146:5).
“2) The Midrash explains that milk symbolizes superior quality, richness of taste, and nourishment. Honey represents sweetness. The goodness of Israel is both nourishing and pleasant.”
Knowing that when the livestock were in a fertile land, they would produce much milk. Any land, as long as it could sustain life was good. But a fertile land would produce a superior quality full of taste and nourishment. Honey representing the sweetness of the promised land.
When we are in the place God has called us, even though it may not make sense, there will be a fertility and quality to that season. It may be a physical place we are brought to, or a space in time. Our promise is that it will be blessed by God.
“3) Some point out that honey and milk share a paradoxical quality. Honey is kosher, though it is produced by a non-kosher insect. Milk is kosher, though it comes from a cow whose meat may not be eaten together with milk. The goodness of Israel will often times come from places where it is least expected.”
Every decision we make for our life may not be met with approval of the masses. It may not be met with approval from family. I am reminded of some of the writings our niece has already shared with us. She answered the call to become a missionary to Thailand for a season of time. Some family and friends may have doubted if she should be there. Traveling half a continent away to serve and help minister to those lost and seeking help in the sex trade sounds like something from a novel. However, she felt the peace that it was the step to take. She has already been blessed with such insight and blessings. This is her recent blog post https://bekahsblog10.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/the-color-red/
The goodness of your own personal Israel will most likely come from places you least expect. Living each day by seeking God’s purpose for your life will lead you down familiar roads, and unfamiliar paths.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” Psalm 119:105
Kim Steadman is the COOP (Chief Online Operating Person) for The Re-Feathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who are ready to RePurpose and ReDesign according to God’s purpose for their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRefeatheredNest and on Google+ at +Kim.
P.S. Tomorrow, I’ll share with you some jewels I’ve discovered about “the lamp, the feet, the light and the path”