On the way out of Egypt to the Promised Land, the nation of Israel takes a detour and makes a pit stop at Mt. Sinai. God leads them here because there is some business that He needs to take care of with them before they can enter the Promised Land.

They stay here for a few months, and during this time God is re-establishing His covenant with His people. This covenant is a relational agreement between God and Israel, and its essence can be summarized as “He will be their God, and they will be His people.”

God gives them commands to follow to keep their part of the agreement. Today we will look at a passage in which God explains what He will do for them, how He will bless them as they fully obey Him as their Lord and Master…

Exodus 23:20-33

20 “See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you. 21 Pay close attention to him, and obey his instructions. Do not rebel against him, for he is my representative, and he will not forgive your rebellion. 22 But if you are careful to obey him, following all my instructions, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will oppose those who oppose you. 23 For my angel will go before you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, so you may live there. And I will destroy them completely. 24 You must not worship the gods of these nations or serve them in any way or imitate their evil practices. Instead, you must utterly destroy them and smash their sacred pillars.

25 “You must serve only the Lord your God. If you do, I will bless you with food and water, and I will protect you from illness. 26 There will be no miscarriages or infertility in your land, and I will give you long, full lives.

27 “I will send my terror ahead of you and create panic among all the people whose lands you invade. I will make all your enemies turn and run. 28 I will send terror ahead of you to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites. 29 But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals would multiply and threaten you. 30 I will drive them out a little at a time until your population has increased enough to take possession of the land. 31 And I will fix your boundaries from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the eastern wilderness to the Euphrates River. I will hand over to you the people now living in the land, and you will drive them out ahead of you.

32 “Make no treaties with them or their gods. 33 They must not live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me. If you serve their gods, you will be caught in the trap of idolatry.”

To Think About…

Verse 22 holds the key phrase, “if you are careful to obey him…” Let’s briefly look at all the things God promises to the Israelites if they are careful to obey.

1) God will give them the Promised Land. He will completely drive out the nations that are currently living there.

2) Israel will have an abundance of food and water. The Promised Land is often referred to as “a land flowing with milk and honey.” This means that agriculturally the land is as good as it gets, that it is fertile land filled with vegetation.

3) God will protect Israel from illnesses.

4) God will protect them from miscarriages or infertility.

5) Israel will be blessed with long, full lives.

These promises are no small things. If the Israelites will keep their end of the covenant, they will be unlike any other nation on the face of the earth. They will experience a taste of God’s original design for humanity. No sickness, no preemptive deaths, abundant life, vibrant living…

Would these promises be enough to keep Israel on the straight and narrow?

What motivates you to stay on the straight and narrow?