As we begin the last book of Torah – the account of Moses’ final words in Deuteronomy to the people before they enter the promised land – we surely begin to wonder, “what is the promised land, and how do we approach it?”
On one level, we know what it is. We’ve been taught at an early age that this is the land of Israel, the physical land that God promised us as part of the covenant. The Jewish people have lived in that land for some 3,000 years. So, this is a profoundly true answer.
But is there something more? Can the idea of the promised land have an additional, important meaning to us?
Is it not also the terrain, wherever we are physically, especially within our souls and spirit, where we live in covenant with God?
We are promised this “land” when we live in divine covenant. And we risk losing our place of God when we don’t. And what a promise it is – a place with the Eternal for now and forever!
Moses emphasizes in this portion a crucial pathway to the land – the paramount importance of trusting in God and God’s support. “Don’t fear them, for it is the Lord your God who will battle for you,” Moses says.
We have many “thems” in our lives. But trust in God’s saving hand against all of them must be central to our spirit and consciousness as we prepare to live in the broad expanse of God’s promise.