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Saturday, July 30, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
Exodus 23: 20-33

But if you carefully OBEY His Voice and DO ALL that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries” – Exodus 23:22

OBEDIENT HEARTS are BLESSED with Divine Defence and Supernatural Provisions: “But if you carefully OBEY His Voice and DO ALL that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries” (Exo.23:22). The obedient are divinely defended against enemy attacks and supernaturally provided for. As Moses stood upon Mount Sinai having received case laws to apply the Ten Commandments, and prior to going back down to the people, God gave him this epilogue. This had mostly to do with what would happen when the people entered the Promised Land. Verse 20 makes a sudden shift from what the people ought to do, to what God was doing: “Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared” (v.20). God has a PREPARED PLACE of Blessing for His people, and He’ll lead us and keep us in the way, if only we’ll trust and obey!

The passage is full of Instructions for the people:

  • “Beware of Him and obey His voice” – Pay careful attention to Him (v.21a)
  • “Do not provoke Him…for My name is in Him” (v.21b)
  • “You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them” (v.24a)
  • “So you shall serve the Lord your God” (v.25a)
  • “You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods” (v.32).

Much more were God’s assurances about what He would do if they obeyed:

  • “I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to you adversaries” (v.22b)
  • “I will cut them off” (v.23b)
  • “He will bless your bread and your water” (v.25)
  • “I will take sickness away from the midst of you” (v.25)
  • “I will fulfil the number of your days” (v.26b)
  • “I will send My fear before you” (v.27a)
  • “I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you” (v.27b)
  • “I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaannite, and the Hittite from before you” (v.28).
  • “I will set your bounds from the Red Sea to the sea, Philistia, and from the desert to the River” (v.31a)
  • “For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you” (v.31b).

The focus of the whole section is that we would honour God, glorify Him, be loyal to Him, and be obedient to His Word, and in that obedience we would find blessing. It was vital that God gave this reiterative warning to Israel at the very end of the covenant that He was making with them. Clearly all the actions of God hinged on the obedience of the people to the Word released through the angel of God.

The Angel foreshadowed exactly the role Jesus Christ would eventually have to play. How God treats us hinges on how much of our allegiance and loyalty we give Jesus. The real path of blessing will never come through obedience to a code of ethics or body of rule; it comes only through fiery allegiance to the One God has sent to pardon transgression and save from sin – through inflamed passion and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. Our heavenly Father demands a life style of obedience from all of us.

John Calvin said in the 16th Century: “We cannot rely on God’s promises without obeying His commands.” As we value God’s Word and submit to His Spirit, obedience would be our habitual lifestyle, not an occasional act: “But this is what I commanded them, saying: ‘OBEY My Voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you’” (Jer.7:23). Blessings pave the Way of Obedience: “BLESSED is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways” (Psa.128:1).

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Lord, let our OBEDIENT HEARTS be BLESSED with Divine Defence against all adversaries and Supernatural Provisions, in Jesus name.
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