Dear Friends of “Dial Daily Bread,”
One of God's servants declared that God didn't want a single Israelite to lose his life in the conquest of their Promised Land after their exodus from Egypt. This bold statement was rather shocking, because a whole generation of the children of Israel perished in the wilderness after Kadesh-Barnea, never getting to set foot in the land, and their descendants met with intense opposition for centuries. Two tribes were finally exiled to Babylon, and ten tribes simply disappeared. It was national disaster of terrible proportions. It's in Exodus 23:20-33, which says:
(1) God promised to send "an Angel" before them--obviously Christ Himself.
(2) He would "prepare" the way.
(3) He would be "an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries." In other words, that "Angel" would fight their battles for them.
(4) He would bring Israel into the Promised Land and would "cut off" any opposition.
(5) "He will bless your bread and your water," in other words, wonderfully prosper them economically.
(6) The "Angel" would "take sickness away from the midst of you," in other words, make Israel a world example of healthful living.
(7) Their population would increase marvelously, indicating that it was not God's will that any cruel or oppressive world empire should arise such as Assyria, Babylon, Greece, or Rome. "I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion [“destroy all,” KJV] among all the people to whom you come." All their enemies will "turn their backs to you."
(8) God would "send hornets before you" which would drive out the pagans from the land.
(9) God's people would be “increased, and … inherit the land" (the apostle Paul correctly understood it meant to be "heir of the world," Rom. 4:13). "I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand."
To a pitifully small extent, these divine promises met some fulfillment; but what frustrated the Lord was the people's constant "unbelief" (Heb. 3:12-19). Throughout their history, they rejected God's New Covenant, and cherished their own Old Covenant--right up to the final scene at Calvary. Isn't it time now for us to believe His New Covenant?
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 24, 2002.
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