Exodus 23:25–26 (HCSB)
25 Worship the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. I will remove illnesses from you. 26 No woman will miscarry or be childless in your land. I will give you the full number of your days.
God outlines for the Israelites what they need to do, and what He will do if they obey, concerning the possession of the promised land. The pericope is packed with great promises, as well as dire warnings, all hinging on the response of the Israelites.
Three things to note:
- God is the one who accomplishes great feats.
Exodus 23:27-31 contains seven “I” statements from God. He is the power behind everything, the One securing the blessings upon our lives. Certainly the Israelites, and us, have a part to play Exodus 23:24), but we should not be fooled into thinking we are the driving force behind the blessings that fall upon us.
- The Israelites have free will.
Obviously this is a warning and an urging from God to send the Israelites down the correct path. But ultimately the Israelites seem to have a choice: covenant with God, or covenant with the enemies of God. This choice remains today, it is no different. It might not be wrapped up in the story of the promised land, instead it is temptations to do evil at work, or skirt our familial obligations, or implement our own moral code in order to excuse or justify our behavior. But it is a decision non-the-less to covenant either with God, or with His enemies.
- God is the way to fruitful life, everything else is a snare.
Exodus 23:25 starts out with the phrase, “Worship the Lord your God.” It sets the condition for the remainder of the verse and the next. Throughout this pericope God instructs us to listen, obey, and worship Him and His angel, as well as avoiding doing the same with His enemies and false gods. And the results of each are clear: blessings through the worship of God, while worshipping false gods is a snare, or a trap.
Lord, thank You for guidance. We are often so blinded by our own wants, desires, and lusts, that we lose sight of the big picture, which is all good things come from You. I pray for clarity in the moment to see You and Your plan, not be blinded by the enemy and our flesh. Amen.