I want to pretend that the “land flowing with milk and honey” was in fact an unoccupied land—a specially preserved paradise, just waiting for the Israelite people to discover it. But, unfortunately, we all know the rest of the story.
The call and blessing of Abram in Genesis 12 is the beginning of a thematic thread that is developed over the rest of the scriptural witness. As the heirs of Abram, we are both the recipients and the bearers of his promised blessing to the nations.
It is tempting to airbrush out the uncomfortable reference to the Canaanites living in the land promised by God to Abram. However, the questions raised by this text are worth tarrying with, presenting us with challenges that are deeply pertinent to our own situations.