“But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people.” Leviticus 20:24
Most Bible readers and students know that the Land of Canaan was called the land of milk and honey, but what does that mean? Why was this phrase used to describe the good and highly desirable blessings the land could yield to its inhabitants? I recently heard a good message preached on this subject, and it caused me to stop and think about it. There are many considerations about milk and honey – both natural and spiritual – that can profit God’s people to understand. First the natural. God promised these two food items would be found freely in the land He was giving His people to inhabit. At the time this promise was refreshed to their memories, they had been walking in a big circle in the wilderness for forty years subsisting on manna. Manna was a substance that God gave them miraculously to keep them alive. It was abundant but it was not found freely, because God restricted their use of it. This was not a naturally occurring substance; God gave it directly and they didn’t even know what it was! The very word manna means “What is it?” Manna sustained them, but it did not flow freely. They had to work to gather it and then they had to process it into flour and make it into bread before they could gain nourishment from it. It must have been hard work. The real promise of milk and honey was that there would be naturally occurring food items available to them in the Land of Canaan – food that God’s people did nothing to produce. These things were not to be miraculously provided by God, but could be found as a factor of obeying Him by inhabiting the good land He was providing for them. Not only did these items occur naturally, but they were also promised to be in great abundance in the good land. The land was said to flow with these products, providing their nourishment freely and abundantly. Neither of these items had to be processed – they required no work to change them into a form that could nourish and satisfy the hunger of God’s people. God would freely provide them and His people could abundantly enjoy them. What wonderful blessings of the good land, and all could be had freely from God’s hand!
This natural description of God’s providing the blessings of nourishment and satisfaction in a good natural land is also used to describe spiritual blessings. Many people think the Land of Canaan was used to describe what Heaven will be like, but I do not think so. God will not need to provide nourishment to satisfy our hunger in Heaven. There will be no hunger there, neither naturally nor spiritually. Why do we get hungry in this life? We need to continually take in nourishment to replenish and refresh what has been used up just to keep us alive! That is the manna system by the way. It was never intended to satisfy the Children of Israel, it was intended to keep them alive until they reached the place where the good food was! That is why they eventually murmured and complained, saying, “our soul loatheth this light bread.” It kept them alive, but it did not satisfy. There was no joy in it. The Land of Canaan was used as a place where the promises of spiritual blessings and joy could be experienced and enjoyed. It was such because these blessings are provided by God – man does not need to process them and shape them into what he wants them to look and taste like. Milk and Honey are used to describe the spiritual blessings that can only be found in one place, by God’s people inhabiting the good spiritual land He has provided for us. That land is not some hidden, unknowable condition of the mind; it is the church kingdom that Christ Jesus our Lord established on the earth for the good of His people. His Father delivered that kingdom to Him, and established Him upon the throne of that kingdom. Not only so, but Jesus now rules and reigns over that kingdom, providing its blessings freely to His dear people. He said in John 10:10, ” I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The spiritual milk and honey flows freely in that kingdom and exists for the spiritual nourishment of the saints of God. Which people can eat of that milk and honey? Jesus told us. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Our hungering and thirsting souls can eat and drink freely of the milk and honey of the spiritual land. God’s abundance of spiritual blessings is promised to them that go into that good land and inhabit it.
Today is a good day to enter the land that flows with milk and honey and eat abundantly of God’s rich blessings.