TUESDAY, MARCH 5
“Beware that thou forget not
the LORD thy God …”
I WILL, YOU SHALL, OR ELSE
God made many “I will” promises to the children of Israel if they obeyed the Angel and did all that He said. He would be an enemy to their enemies (Exod 23:22) and cut them off (Exod 23:23). He would take away their sicknesses and ensure plentiful harvests without barrenness, and would ensure they lived out their days in the land (Exod 23:25-26). He would destroy the enemies they met and they would fear the children of Israel (Exod 23:27). He would send hornets to drive out the enemies gradually so that the land would not be desolate before they could possess the various parts (Exod 23:28-31). However, God also ensured that they understood this would be contingent upon their obedience. They shall not bow down to or serve their enemies’ gods, but shall thoroughly pull down and completely destroy their idols (Exod 23:24). They must only serve the LORD their God (Exod 23:25). Moreover, they shall drive their enemies out, and not make any covenant with these people or their gods. They must ensure that these enemies did not dwell in the land (Exod 23:31-33). There was the warning too that if they disobeyed God, they would be dealt with (Exod 23:21). They must drive out their enemies or else they would cause them to sin against God and be a snare to them (Exod 23:33). The LORD’s covenantal conditions for blessings for obedience and cursings for disobedience are clearly stated.
Today, we must realize also that we too have the promises, duties, and warnings. Yes, we will not lose our salvation. But the promises of blessings in this life are contingent upon our obedience. And the blessings are given for serving Him and fulfilling His purposes. God’s blessings are not for our selfish enjoyment or for us to use them to sin. God will remove the blessings when we abuse them. That is why when Israel disobeyed God and abused His blessings, there was no more purpose for them to stay in the land. There will be chastisements for disobedience. Chastisements are meant to bring us back to do His will so that God can continue to fulfil His promises.
THOUGHT: God’s covenantal blessings are to be used for Him.
PRAYER: LORD, bless and chasten me so that I will do Thy will.