There is a admirable gesture at the source of the formation of what became the promised land for the people of Israel. It happened in a family context between an uncle and his nephew, in this instance Abraham and Lot. Abraham could easily have made the first claim and chosen what portion of land seemed most appealing to him at the time. But instead he deferred to his nephew Lot, allowing him the first choice and Abraham settled for the "leftovers" which became over time anything but leftovers. It seems fitting that his unselfishness should lay at the foundation of nation and land of the chosen people. When and as that nation was built from that foundation with similar nobility of gesture, it went better for Israel.
Another foundational fact stands right alongside this one in significance. Where the temple would eventually be constructed on the north side of Mount Zion there was once a threshing floor, where pure wheat was separated from chaff by the wind. This same sifting would happen there on a spiritual level as the wind of the Holy Spirit moved upon the hearts of the priests and people in the precise interpretation of the Law for the glory and worship of Yahweh. That same sifting and purifying, and stirring is going on today wherever there is continuing worship of the true God in spirit and truth in the temple not made with hands, the temple that we are. What a beautiful situation! (Psalm 48)
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