When God calls us to a place or a position or even into the Promised land, we must be assured and affirm through our faith that He will go with us. The possession of what He has for us will never come easy, as long as this present time exists. The enemy of our soul seeks to possess us; he does not seek to own what God has for us. His possessions are drawn from the cosmic dust of the physical realm and from those in the nether regions outside the glorious realm of God.
Psalms 23 and 91 are prophetic psalms for an age that may soon be upon us. They can of course apply to us in the present. They help us to know that God is continually looking after us, protecting and guiding. The things that will come upon the world — the wars, the pestilence, the attacks we receive in battle on all fronts and in all realms, cannot separate us from His love and Sovereign canopy.
He commands angels over us and draws us into His fortress. If He is for us then who can be against us?
We read in the story of Balaam and Balak, that despite their plans in trying to curse Israel in an effort to defeat them, they could do no such thing. God is her protection, and despite her renegade actions and her rebellious and wicked ways, He confirms that she is the apple of His eye.
Israel, in her journey to the Promised Land, had to travel many courses, and of her many paths, God had laid them all. They were through occupied territory. She was on her way to take violently the land which was once hers and that she lost through her rebellion. She was and still is, in the process of exile and reoccupation. We see now, in her story, that to take back something that belongs to you can be a long and painful endeavor. One should not embark on such a mission if failure is evident, but in Israel’s case, her outcome will be victory. Unfortunately, there are still many battles to be fought, until her feet are back in her allotted portion. Her fight in the physical is against the principalities of kingdoms — a shadow picture of the spiritual fight against the principalities and authorities in high places. Eph 6:10-13
As Israel passed through the occupied territories, her battles were with her enemies. Sometimes her greatest opposition came from within her camp. The population of Israel grew through conquest, but it was often through the judgment of God that her populous depleted. Israel was, in fact, made up of many people groups who assimilated with her, whilst accepting YHVH, the God of Israel. Aliens among the nation had to accept and live by covenant laws, and that applies today. All believers of Christ have been brought into the commonwealth of Israel or grafted into the Olive tree. Ephesian 2:19, Romans 11.
If God had wanted, He could have steered His children across a clear and uninterrupted path, but what would they have learned? They would have been like spoilt children, over-protected and never knowing the dangers and hardships that all humans face in this world. God’s plan for Israel was not for annihilation, but for regeneration and survival. In addition, the journey of Israel, symbolic of our own faith journeys, is to release sin, reveal weaknesses, and show us that we have wickedness beneath the skin and that we so need Him.
We who are alive today, join the multitude of the generations past and continue in the caravan, but can you hear the clatter of sword and shield? Does it all seem peaceful?
Friends, the battle rages, and as long as Israel exists, so will her army.
Israel has been given a roadmap, and we as believers look to the path of Christ. We need to remind ourselves that Yeshua, the Word, in the manna and the water followed Israel in her wilderness trek. The bread of life and the living waters of Christ are as much ours today as it has ever been. ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’, the Lord says. Deut 31:6
The roadmap toward occupying the land is not a gentle stroll in the countryside. We must learn that not everything in this extraordinary journey is plain sailing. Mistakes have been made along the way and these are to be learned from, not replicated. That’s God’s message to us.
The Journey of God’s people is one that is being processed. The filter system is separating sin and thus showing us that what comes out the other side is purified and acceptable to God. Wickedness, the unacceptance of God’s laws, has to be dealt with. It is the causal effect of an original act of defiance in the Kingdom of God, from someone who was the closest to Him.
The written directions in the roadmap contain highlights,’ Do not go in the way of the sin of the people’, ‘Quicksand ahead!’ ‘Danger! Minefield’. We need to pay attention to these.
How can we avoid such dangers and pitfalls?
Exodus 23: 20 “Behold, I am going to send an Angel before you to keep and guard you on the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Be on your guard before Him, listen to and obey His voice; do not be rebellious toward Him or provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgression, since My Name (authority) is in Him.
We make it through by being obedient — pursuing self ambition, creating our own purposes, being presumptuous, and jumping ahead of God’s Spirit; it all leads to disaster.
We do not saunter into the land of our promise; we go through the city gates and the breached walls, battle-hardened, battle-worn but energized. After all, we have just come through opposing forces — a powerful foe.
We enter the city, covered in the soil and desert dust. Once in, we have to clean up and we have to be prepared to see the carnage. We file in, and head toward the high places and the Asherah poles, the altars of abomination, bringing down every kingdom and idolatrous image that opposes the knowledge of God. Then we cleanse ourselves. If we have been successful and done as our Commander-in-Chief has asked, if we have prepared the place for His throne and established an altar to our God, then He will find reason to dwell among us. He must!
Friends, God will move heaven and earth to establish what He has for us. He is no respecter of persons and does not delight in the strength of a man, in chariot or horse. His allegiance is to the ‘House of YHVH’.
When we walk into what God has for us, we must realise that it’s very possible that the enemy has been there before us. Great evil will have taken place, but we do not dwell amongst its contaminate.
When we separate the spoils of war, the fire and the water must be employed. The Lord has had enough of leading His people through a parched landscape. Once the dust has settled, we may find that green pastures and trickling streams emerge and the beauty of God’s promise is revealed.