Moses commanded the people of Israel, saying, “This is the land that you shall inherit by lot, which the LORD has commanded to give to the nine tribes and to the half-tribe.”
All of Numbers 34 is about the boundaries of the Promised Land of Canaan. There is a verbal map directed to Moses that let the Israelites know the extent to which God had given them a new possession. But it also meant that territory had to be conquered. It was great to know God’s will for the future. Yet, there was responsibility with that knowledge.
With the knowledge of God’s revealed will there comes about a necessary human responsibility to obey it. We cannot shirk away from this truth. Yes, God was giving them this geographic territory that was not theirs. Yes, it was God’s will that they have it. But receiving the gift meant entering into battle and eradicating the idolatry of the existing Canaanites in order to possess the promise of God.
God does not make easy promises today. We know heaven and eternity with Christ await us. But we don’t get to sit back on that fact. We tend to be starry-eyed as evangelicals. We put on our rose-colored glasses and insist that “believing in Jesus is so easy, a child can do it” (sounds like a Geico commercial!). But it takes manly faith and outward demonstration of childlike faith to live like we should. Sanctification happens to us when we receive the holiness of Christ, but we must also WORK OUT our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). That sounds like sweat equity to some degree, not for salvation, but because of it. God always expects commitment with His gifts.