Getting to this land was pegged to a single command: do obey the Lord God Almighty. This was the determining factor to whether they would get there or not and whether they would continue enjoying the same or not once they got there. That after you have accomplished all these, do not be proud/arrogant and think that it is by your strength that you made it the far that you will be. With obedience comes humility and worship. No wonder their allegiance is called to Yahweh alone and avoid other gods – you’d say like a plague. At Deuteronomy, the judgement that God had established on the 20+ years old had already taken place where they had all died apart from Joshua and Caleb and Moses himself – who was going to die soon- hence not getting to Canaan. These had disobeyed God (Numbers 14.29).
With the departure of Israelites from Egypt, the final destination was Canaan – The Promised Land. The land, according to Exodus 3.8, was not only spacious but also rich and fertile. This was the fulfilment to a promise made way too long to Abraham. Where they were in Egypt was a confinement zone since they were slaves and that made it easy for monitoring and control. The promised land had rivers and springs and underground streams gushing out into the valleys and hills. The land produced wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and honey (Deuteronomy 8.7-20). It had minerals like copper. They would never be hungry. in this land they would be increased in terms of population and livestock and good infrastructure. They would be rich and wealthy people. This looks like a good city to be in and raises the hope of wanting to be there soon. The land that floweth with milk and honey.
At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus told the people to repent for the kingdom of God is at hand (Mathew 3.2). He brought salvation to humanity. He brought the everlasting covenant to The Promised Land. ‘For God so loved the world,’ John 3.16, ‘that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.’ The implication here is that eternal life begins the moment we accept Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. God’s call to the Israelites was that He would be their God and father and they would be his people. A more father-son relationship. Jesus’ call to us is for us to have a similar relationship.The everlasting relationship.
This promised land, by Jesus, is similar to the one Abraham was looking for. When he Left his home country, Abram, was guided by God to the city where he would settle and his offsprings thereof. He forsakes all to the city whose architect is God (Hebrew11.9-10). Even Though Canaan was the city of promise to Abraham and his descendants, Israelites, that was just the foreshadowing of the great city which Jesus came to bring closer and increased on the dwellers. It was no longer open to Israelites only but to all the people of the world. The amplified version of this city is that it is a magnificent one. In revelation 21.10-27 it is described as one with light that was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal, great and high wall with twelve gates, The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass, The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst, etc. The Promised land in the OT to the Israelites was a tip of the iceberg in comparison to this description.
Secondly, in Canaan they were to continue in worship and praise with all loyalty pledged to the most high. This is the same case here. However, in Canaan there was a likelihood of falling into Idolatry whereas in the new Jerusalem there will be but one thing: Worship. No temptation will be there. Canaan had mines where minerals could be mined but in Heaven, the new Jerusalem, the fitting itself is gold and all manner of precious stones. Abraham never lived to see the glory that came later on with the establishment of Jerusalem the capital of Judah but he is a candidate to the glorious city which he eagerly yearned for: Heaven.
The key and the most fundamental rule is on how to get to the promised land. In Deuteronomy 8.19 Moses reminded the Israelites about worship as a lifestyle. Which broadly would be called doing everything as though it is unto God. That all that they engaged in is worship. These were the chosen people. Jesus placed the same call to his disciples (the Chosen) who had knowledge and had accepted him as messiah in John 14.15: ‘If you love me, you will obey my commands.’ The implication then is that if they would not continue in his commands, then they would be destroyed (John 10.10). Therefore, the call is then to Not Only Accept Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour but Also Continue In His Teachings/Commands. It is the call to practical discipleship. This is also to imply that those that have rejected Christ Jesus have chosen to exclude themselves from the journey and destination to this celestial city. The Israelites were allowed to coexist with all that were with them irrespective of them being from other people groups provided they adhered to the commands of God. Meaning that other people groups were given a chance to redeem themselves. This is to mean that Christ has taken that venture and paid the cost and ours is just to accept the call and continue in his school.
Romans 10:8-13…But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” There is no difference between Jew and Gentile. The same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’For Canaan, the Promised Land, it was by obedience to law: and unto Heaven, The Promised Land/City, it is by Grace and all are invited.