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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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God told Moses that it was time to move north on a journey to enter the promised land from there. They would first pass through the land God gave to Esau. Even though Esau and descendants forsook God, God still fulfilled his promise to give them land. He did so for Moab and Ammon, the descendants of Lot. This gave Israel hope that God would fulfill his land-promise to them also. God said the descendants of Esau “will be afraid of you” (v. 4b). History was to be repeated. When Israel left Egypt the Egyptians were afraid of them (Ps. 105:38). God was saying “Don’t be afraid of them for they are afraid of you.” What encouragement!

 

They were to buy food and water from their relatives, but God supplied the means. When leaving Egypt, the Israelites “asked from the Egyptians silver and gold” (Exod. 12:35). Even during the forty years in the wilderness God was with them and they lacked nothing (v. 7b). The pre-incarnate Christ gave them His presence (1 Cor. 10:4), manna (Exod. 16), water (Exod. 17:1-6; Ps. 78:15), and their clothes and sandals didn’t wear out (Deut. 29:5), the clothes the Egyptians had given them (Exod. 12:35). We need to remember that God never changes (Mal. 4:6), and “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). Christ promised He would never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5) but be with us to the end of the world (Matt. 28:20). So in our journey towards possessing the heavenly Canaan, His care over us is the same, for “God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

 

The Emim were giants as tall and numerous as the Anakim. But God destroyed them for the descendants of Lot, which puts to shame the majority of Israel who forty years before were terribly afraid of the Anakim giants. But now that unconverted generation was dead, and a new generation was about to enter the promised land. They moved forward in faith and totally defeated the Amorites and all their cities. They rightly declared, “there was not one city too strong for us; the Lord our God delivered all to us” (v. 36b).

 

For end-time Israel, there are no cities just ahead for us to be conquered, but enemies pushing a Sunday law and a death decree (Rev. 13:15). God will gloriously deliver us too (Dan. 12:1). “Now all these things happened to them an examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor. 10:11). Christ says to us, “lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28b). God has never lost a battle for His dependent people, and He never will.

 

Norman Gulley

Southern Adventist University