Exodus 23:10-11,13,20-22,29-30 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove... “Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips... “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you... But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.
Being agrarian and shepherds by profession, these laws were written to deal with every issue the Israelites might encounter but the one purpose they were given these laws was to keep them walking God's path and not falling away.
Today we do not follow these laws and therefore we wonder what God's purpose is in revealing this to us?
To many people, rules are meant to be broken because it hinders their freedom. It is probably because they lived under severe rules or under very demanding conditions in their lives.
To the Israelites who lived under slavery for many generations before being freed, they had no clear sense of direction because they were trained to be doers, not askers or thinkers.
This new-found freedom was more than they could all deal with and it caused them to sin and operate in ways they were not familiar with. Had God not set laws for them, they would simply waste away their freedom and forget the one who freed them in the first place.
Sometimes we take powerful verses like 21 out of context by claiming God's promise without looking at the relevance of it. To receive God's perfect protection, we need to remember the condition from verse 20 where God says that He will provide an angel to lead them and they are to obey and then God will protect them.
Jesus Christ was sent into this earth to live a life of meaning and purpose that we might have a role model. He died a faultless death that we might have freedom from sin because of His shed blood for us. He ascended into heaven to be with God that we might have eternity as an assurance when we put our complete trust in Him.
Verse 20 and 21 are pertinent reminders to us that when we obey Jesus and walk under His leadership, God will protect us from Satan's attacks and oppose him for us.
Another great comfort we can take is from verses 29-30. We have often wondered why the Israelites needed to travel the desert for 40 years instead of the simple 2 week journey it would have actually taken them to reach Israel.
God clearly explains here that He took them the long route to protect them from enemies, desolation, wild animals and to build them in faith that they will receive their inheritance fully.
When we are saved, we expect that whatever we touch will turn into a blessing but here God reminds us that when we submit to His lordship, He takes us the long way around to His holy presence for our protection, to build our faith in Him and to be able to receive Him fully.
Are you lost and seeking saving from the sins and troubles of your life. Call on Jesus and He will be your salvation!
Are you a believer who wonders what why God does not simply free you from your situations? Know that He is in perfect control and leads you in a manner that you will be able to learn from Him, love Him and trust Him fully.
In His Loving Service,
Matthew 6:31,33 Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’... But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
If you would like to know about Jesus, then please click here.