A Promise And a Warning

When Sir Winston Churchill resigned as prime minister of Great Britain on April 5, 1955, it was thought that age and the desire to permit Sir Anthony Eden greater latitude in the forthcoming elections were the reasons. And they were. But there was one more. The 81-year-old states … More


In this passage God makes promises about directing His people into the promised land where the laws just given will be practiced. It contains promises of cursing for those who disobey and blessings for those who obey (vv. 20-22). When the people arrive in Canaan God promises to do away with her enemies (v. 23). Then the Israelites were to destroy all of the Canaanites idols (v. 24). Obeying God would result in good health, long life and a prosperous way for them (vv. 25-26).

God also promised that He would give them the land gradually (vv. 27-30). In fact Joshua’s conquest took seven years and they still did not wipe out all of the enemies (1406-1399 B.C.). If God had given them the land all at once, it would have become desolate and inhabited by wild animals before Israel could have settled in and cultivated it.

God describes the location of the borders of the Promised Land. He said they were to extend all the way to the Red Sea and from the eastern deserts to the Mediterranean Sea on the west. He also said that He would drive the Canaanites out of the Land (v. 31). However, strict adherence to God’s covenant was required; and they were to make no covenant with the heathen (vv. 32-33). The precept with this promise is, that they should not make friendship with idolaters. Those that would keep from bad consequences, must keep from bad company. It is dangerous to live in a bad neighborhood. Our greatest danger is from those who would make us sin against God.


Just as God promised to go before the Israelites and conquer their enemies He wants to do the same for me today. However, if I want to fight my own battles He will probably let me do so.

Exodus 23:20-33 (English Standard Version)

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