3 They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was your right hand and strong arm
and the blinding light from your face that helped them,
for you loved them. — Psalm 44:3 NLT
Israel was the smallest of all nations (Deut. 7:7). Had they been left to themselves, they would not have been able to leave Egypt and safely cross the desert to get to the Promised Land. But God chose them and fought their battles for them. He gave them manna from heaven and water from rocks to sustain them in their journey. When they complained about the food, God gave them manna and quail to eat. God gave them victories over every enemy that attacked them on their journey using miracle after miracle to defeat the attackers. He parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River bringing them into the Promised Land at harvest time. God gave them a great victory over the ancient, walled city of Jericho and they ate crops that they had not planted and drank from wells that they had not dug. Why? Because He chose them and loved them. Why does He give us spiritual food and water in a spiritually dry and barren land? For the same reason. He has chosen us and He loves us. They were to bear His standard and carry His name throughout the known world. Just as God called them out of Egypt, He has called us to come out and be a special people and a royal priesthood. Just as He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land, so He will bring us safely out of this world and to the new heaven and new earth. Not because of who we are but because of who He is and His promises to do so.
30 Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it?31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds,32 but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.” — Mark 4:30-32 NLT
Earlier in this chapter, Jesus had told His disciples that they were permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God. He also stated that there would be some who would hear and refuse to believe (outsiders) and they would not be able to understand His teachings in the parables that He used (Mark 4:11,12). So, if the disciples were permitted to understand the Kingdom of God, then so can we understand it. Jesus told Nicodemus to enter the Kingdom that it was necessary for him to be born again. So, we become a part of the Kingdom of God when we receive Christ as our Savior. In doing so, we become eligible for all the benefits of that Kingdom here and now, not just in the future. As the birds nest in the shade of the mustard tree, so we live under the umbrella of God’s protection now. Right now, it is a spiritual Kingdom inside of us. When Jesus comes back, He will establish a Kingdom here on earth that will encompass all of His creation and creatures except those that refuse to hear and believe (Daniel 2:44, Rev.11:15). We are preparing to live in that Kingdom in our present life and one day that process will be completed when we are changed into immortal beings (1 Cor 15:50-53). Jesus taught us to pray “may Your will be done on earth even as it is in heaven”. So, while we are preparing for eternity, we live with the assurance that the hope that we have will one day be fulfilled. And it will be so — His will “will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. That is why we end our prayers with “Amen” which means “let it be so”. Partially now and completely in the future.