Gaza: Territorial Faith

And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon in the direction of Gerar as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. — Genesis 10:19

Genesis 10:1-32 is a genealogical roadmap. The chapter is often called the "Table of Nations" because it catalogs the spread of humanity after the Flood. Although it is primarily a list of names and lineages, it's far more than that. It details how Noah's population branched out from his three sons (Japheth, Ham, and Shem), fulfilling God’s command to "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth" (Genesis 9:1). If you choose to read the whole chapter, you'll notice geographical markers, social groupings, and other historical information.

Focusing on the middle of the chapter, you will find the lineage of Ham (Genesis 10:6-20). It tells us that Ham had four sons, one of whom was Canaan, with eleven descendants dispersed into the "territory of the Canaanites," extending "as far as Gaza."

So why is this important?

From the first chapters of the Bible, we learn that God wanted his people to populate this land. They were the first to inhabit this territory (including Gaza). If you jump ahead in the story, this inclusion was later reinforced when Gaza was listed among Judah’s promised territories (Joshua 15:20, 47).

But for God's people, there was far more behind their understanding of "this land."

"The Land" signified something unique to the people of God. It wasn't just about the dirt or the possession of a piece of property. It described Israel's unique relationship with God. The land was a territory where God drew close to His people. It was a concrete reminder of God's promise to them. The existence of Israel as a nation and the promise of "this land" was grounded in promises made by God. But as you continue to read the story, God is faithful, and his people are not. Eventually, they lose possession of the land because of their unfaithfulness.

But, this past promise doesn't necessarily validate contemporary claims to "the land." God's divine promises were based on Israel keeping its part of the covenant with God. And they proved repetitively unfaithful to the covenant, especially in the matter of Jesus. So, we can't really use historical or theological claims to justify present-day rights to "this land." The land was lost, and the promise was broken because of Israel's disobedience.

Now, let me add a small contemporary caveat to this.

Present-day Israel has a right to defend itself against evil. And the events that have transpired over the last few weeks are acts of evil. Some in government, politics, and media will never address the issue of evil. They won't even mention the word. They will try to assume it away as if evil does not exist. So they will dance around this subject. You will hear them talk about "proportionality" to avoid addressing sin and the problem of evil. The problem with this idea is that some groups (like Hamas) don't believe in "proportionality." They only believe in the complete and total destruction of their enemies because they see themselves as good and their opponents as evil. Hamas will not stop if Israel does not take measures to protect and preserve itself as far as possible.

But if evil exists, it drives us to the core issue — sin. The sin that resides in man's heart. So here's the point.

A people possessing and residing on a piece of land won't fix this issue. Sin will only perpetuate again through the next generation. The only resolution is God possessing and residing in the prime territory of a man's heart. This is where the battle is fought. Therefore, this should be our prayer for the people in this region. Pray that God would stop the progression of evil and do great work in the hearts of sinful men across Gaza, Lebanon, Israel, and Iran. The territory God is concerned about is the soil of our hearts.


How does the concept of "The Land" in the Bible relate to your understanding of God's presence and promises in your life today?

If "the territory God is concerned about is the soil of our hearts," how are you tending to the 'soil' of your own heart to be a place where God can dwell?

DO THIS: Pray for your heart and others.

PRAY THIS: Lord, help me understand that You're most interested in the condition of my heart. Guide me to be obedient and true to Your teachings, reflecting Your faithfulness. Protect me from the negative influences and temptations in life that try to pull me away from You. May You not only be present in geographical places but reign powerfully in the hearts of all who believe in You. I also pray for the people in Israel and Gaza. Bring them peace and stability, and may Your love transform hearts there, steering them away from hate and toward Your everlasting peace. Amen.

PLAY THIS: All Hail King Jesus.

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11 thoughts on “Gaza: Territorial Faith

  1. Eddie says:

    I usually start my day with the Word of God, not every day because I am not perfect, but more often than not, I do actively start my day in The Word. I also try to read this daily devo after work because mornings are hectic with 3 school age children and one other child still in diapers. As anyone can tell by looking at the time stamp of this comment, this specific devotional keeps getting pushed back to not just after work for me, but after all other events for the day. Thanks Vince for this tool to keep me abiding in the Word and current on world events as I no longer watch the news, since I got out of the military even, roughly 15 years ago now. One week and one day from starting the Proverbs book with 5 other men, excited and nervous to lead this, even over text. Thanks again Vince for encouraging us men, me especially, to step up and lead, regardless of qualifications. I keep reminding myself that MOST of the 12 disciples, HANDPICKED by Jesus, were not very well educated, so I can stop having my pity party and step up to be the man God created me to be and not fall back on excuse after excuse as to why I can’t do something.

  2. Chris Caliguire says:

    Agreed and awesome. We are disciplined when we break God’s promises. Yet a covenant isn’t conditional / contractual. I forget the address but I believe in Genesis God shook hands with himself because he knew that covenantal promise couldn’t be kept by antigone but Him (Jesus). So YES our hearts need a daily check!! Multiple times!! Yet promises and especially covenants aren’t negated because of our disobedience. Yet pay attn to the bad end of a promise that comes along with disobedience. Love you guys!

  3. Sheldon says:

    The Holy Spirit presence is always present in me as a child of God, however how I live my life as a believer will determined how he works in my life. Some things in our life is conditional.
    I seek to live my life walking in the spirit

  4. Tom Fredericks says:

    Agreed! Thanks Pastor Vince! Our greatest opportunity to exemplify the person of Jesus Christ in our lives is made manifest through OUR total, unconditional, and willing submission and surrender to His loving commands. There is no plan B! John the Baptist said it best, “He MUST increase! I MUST decrease.” (John 3:30)

    It begins with us! 🙏💪

      • Tom Fredericks Sr. says:

        Hey Pastor Vince. It’s going well. The Spirit of God is leading, and God is beginning to provide. I’m doing my best to remain in tandem with His voice. Thanks for asking. Just so you know, I’m still trekking with you and your ministry. Both have made a profound difference in my life. Keep advocating the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth! John 14:6 – I will follow up with Jr. in the morning as he and Caleb are coming over for Bible study and conversation in the morning.🙏💪

  5. Michael Brown says:

    Powerful, few if any touch on the truth that this land is not the right of often used, of selectively choosing verses of the holy words that happen to suit . Until the hearts of man no matter which camp they may belong turn away from the great evil that has come. None will recognize the manipulation, as the deceiver continues his plan.

  6. Jack Dellinger says:

    Thanks Vince for reminding me that the battle lies within my own heart. Others can aid and assist me but ultimately this is my battle and one that I have all rights to fight. Furthermore, I have an obligation to aid and assist any other person who is fighting for their heart.

    Thank you for your insight on this. Certainly not something I would hear on a cable news network.

    • Brian says:

      Thank you for the excellent reminder that it is not just sin in others heart, but my own. Very true for me.

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