12. Why did God give His chosen people so little land?

I’ve always wondered why God, if real, would give so little land to His chosen people.  Or to look at it another way, why He would give so much more to everyone else.

I’m not saying Israel isn’t a nice little country, just that if you were God, and you had the choice between giving a bunch of land to your chosen people or to a bunch of schmucks, who would you choose?

Additionally, if you were going to make your chosen people’s descendants as many as the stars in the sky (Genesis 26:4,) wouldn’t you want to make room for them all?

Why didn’t God just direct them to build a boat and sail west to claim North and South America?  Or why not just conquer Egypt?  It’s bigger, better, and they were already there!

Abraham: Worst… Jewish… negotiator… ever.     

What would Abraham say if he saw a map of the world today?  I imagine he would say:

“Oh you can’t be serious.  What the hell sheol, God?  Here I thought I could trust you to give me a good deal, and it turns out all you were promising me was .01% of the world’s land!?  And what did you give our enemies?  The other 99.99% of the world!  Who do you really love here?   And you didn’t even hand the land over to us, we literally had to kill for it, only to lose it again and again!  Yes, yes, it is ours again, but have you seen our neighbors?  Why they’re just… just… DREADFUL!  They never mow their lawn, their dogs are constantly barking, and — oh ya –they’re ALWAYS TRYING TO KILL US!  Heck, even the lousy Mormon’s got 10 TIMES the land that we did.  I would gladly trade Israel for Utah, at least their Colorado neighbors keep their shootings confined to their schools.  Oh, and by the way, what’s with half the world being Asian???  I thought my descendents were supposed to be as the stars in the sky?  Did you make a separate deal with some Asian guy?”

If God were real, we might expect Him to:

    • Clear out the land for His chosen people to acquire.
    • Bless them with a much larger country.
    • Make it rich with oil, gold, diamonds, fertile soil and plenty of parking.
    • Fill the land with more offspring than any other people.
    • Protect them from invasions.

But in looking at Israel, I can’t see why this small country is “flowing with milk and honey,” or more valuable than any other country.

As I Christian, I do remember one story about how Israel had some of the best olives in the world.  Yes, olives — the other oil.  Like that’s enough to make us cry “Surely these are God’s chosen people!  God wouldn’t entrust olives like these to just anybody!”

If God isn’t real, then we might expect:

  • The Jews would only be able to conquer as much land as their armies could overthrow.
  • They would have to slaughter (or exile) the existing residents (God wouldn’t do it for them).
  • Other, more powerful, armies would eventually come along and slaughter or exile the Jews; not because their gods were more powerful, or because God was mad at the Jews, but because humans make up gods, fight over land, and make excuses for gods that fail to respond.
  • Other healthy human populations would multiply faster than the Jews if placed in an ideal environment.
  • Religious believers and Holocaust sympathizers might one day come to the aid of the Jews to help them re-acquire their land.

Couldn’t we expect such events to happen, even without a God?

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5 Responses to 12. Why did God give His chosen people so little land?

  1. Kilre says:

    Damn. That’s a good point, in favor of the “tribal religious belief” over “one true God over the whole world belief”, that is, the tiny god of a tribe of people in a small area of the world that took over a small spit of land through conquest, and only later spread over the rest of the world as time passed.

    That’s a tiny smidgen of land.

  2. Anonymous says:

    He did send Jews to live in America and multiply like rabbits. That is what the Book of Mormon is all about. Lol.

    • Interesting point! Unfortunately they must’ve all died out, as modern American Indians show no trace of Jewish mitochondrial DNA. (The LDS church has since recanted and said that not all Indians are of Jewish decent.)

  3. Tim says:

    All good points. But the fundamentalists keep on telling us that God (if a god exists at all) loves us in a very special way, much different from how we understand “love”. An example: A mother discovers the dismembered body parts of her little child in a filthy public toilet. The child was also savegely raped (based on a real case). Well, is that God’s special way of loving the child? (Bear in mind, God witnesses everything, loves us, is full of compassion, all powerful … or so they say) So how are we to understand His method of REWARD in dishing out LAND. We can equally say God rewards in a very special way, much different from how we understand the word “reward”. Just thinking about this makes my head spin…. If a God exists at all, I would think He will be “impersonal” and will not get involved in rewarding and punishing, protecting or harming, loving or hating… exactly as “nature” operates. This will be consistent with the reality of things in our world. So, no need to worship God unless you believe there’s a heaven reserved for believers and a hell for non-believers.

    PS: Hey, you’re talking about earth only, what about heaven. Maybe, the WHOLE of heaven is reserved for his chosen people. So they get a good deal in the “end”, me thinks ;)

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