Who Is this God?

November 1-5


The Promised Land

Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. – Exodus 23:20 (ESV)

Writer and speaker Lewis Smedes says: Yes, somewhere people still make and keep promises. They choose not to quit when the going gets rough because they promised once to see it through. They stick to lost causes. They hold on to a love grown cold. They stay with people who have become pains in the neck. They still dare to make promises and care enough to keep the promises they make. I want to say to you that if you have a ship you will not desert, if you have people you will not forsake, if you have causes you will not abandon, then you are like God.

In Exodus 23:20 God says, “Behold” as He reaffirms His promise to take Israel to the Promised Land. The word “behold” is like a billboard in Scripture telling us to watch what’s about to happen. After four hundred years, the descendants of Israel have been brought out of the bondage in Egypt. Now, the process begins of bringing the nation into the Promised Land. God has been promising to bring His people into the place which He prepared for them ever since He called Abraham out of the Ur.


Pastor Jim reminded us in the sermon that God keeps His promises. How does it make you feel knowing God kept His promise to bring Israel into the Promised Land? What are some of your favorite promises of God to claim?


Praise God for His faithfulness to keep His word. Ask God to help you be a promise keeper like Him.


Promised Protection

“Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. – Exodus 23:20 (ESV)

When G. Campbell Morgan was a young Christian he used to visit several elderly ladies once a week to read the Bible to them. When he came to the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Morgan read, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.” He added, “Isn’t that a wonderful promise?” One of the ladies quickly replied, “Young man, that is not a promise. It is a fact!” (G. Campbell Morgan)

It is a fact that God promised to protect the nation of Israel on their journey to the Promised Land. God promised to send an angel which is most likely reflective of and an extension of God’s own presence. We know the Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light. The point is that God had supernaturally been guiding His people and now He is reminding them again of that and saying, “I’m going to complete the task which I promised.”


It is possible to actually have Jesus Christ as your personal guide through life. In fact, it is interesting that when Jesus was here, He specifically said that He had protected and guarded His own and not one of His own perished (John 17:12). What are some of the things you can do to remind yourself of God’s promised protection in your life?


Praise God for getting you where you are right now. Praise God for His promise to lead you where you need to go. Thank Him for His protection along the way.


A Prepared Place

“Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. – Exodus 23:20 (ESV)

There was a young boy who went to church on a Sunday night. The preacher asked, “How many of you want to go to heaven?” Everybody but this young boy put up his hand. The preacher looked at him and asked, “Son, don’t you want to go to heaven?” “Sure”, the boy answered, “but I thought you were getting up a load for tonight.”

God not only had a plan for the nation of Israel, God was fully committed to making that plan happen. Because of Israel’s rebellion, wandering in the wilderness for 40 years first was part of the preparation. God made the land a beautiful place and God drove out the enemies who stood in the way. The Promised Land was a gift prepared by God and eventually handed over to Israel.


Jesus said in John 14:2-3, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” According to Scripture, what has Jesus done to prepare heaven for us?


Thank Jesus for the work He accomplished on the cross for you. Thank Jesus for interceding daily on your behalf.


Pay Attention to His Promises

Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him,  for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him. – Exodus 23:21 (ESV)

Some time ago, an elderly man living in New Jersey made an unusual discovery as he leafed through an old family Bible. Many years earlier, his aunt had died and left it to him. Part of her will read: “To my beloved Steven Marsh I bequeath my family Bible and all it contains, along with the residue of my estate after my funeral expenses and just and lawful debts are paid.” When everything had been settled the nephew got a few hundred dollars plus the old family Bible mentioned in the will. After the money was used up, his only support was a small pension, and for more than 30 years he lived in poverty. Then one day, he cleaned out his attic in preparation for a move to his son’s home where he hoped to spend his old age. There in a trunk was the family Bible he had inherited. Opening it, he was amazed to find banknotes scattered throughout its pages. He counted over $5000 in cash. Within his reach were riches he could have been enjoying all along. (Encyclopedia of Illustrations)

God’s Word has always been valuable. As God led His people into the promised land, He commanded them to pay attention to and obey His words. The word “obey” in Exodus 23:21 means to hear and heed what you hear. The consequence of disobeying would be unforgiveness for their sin. The consequences of obedience were the riches of God.


Under the New Covenant, we operate on a different principle. Though there are inevitable consequences of sin and God’s loving correction for disobedience, we are blessed in Jesus, and not because we have been obedient. God forgives believers because of Jesus’ sacrificial death. However, what are the consequences today of not listening to God’s Word?


Thank God for giving you His Word as a guide into abundant life.


A Promised Blessing

You shall serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you. – Exodus 23:25 (ESV)

A friend tells of overhearing two little girls who were counting over their pennies. One said, “I have five pennies.” The other said, “I have ten.” “No,” said the first little girl, “You have just five cents, the same as I.” “But,” the second child quickly replied, “my father said that when he came home tonight, he would give me five cents, and so I have ten cents.” The child’s faith gave her proof of that which she did not as yet see, and she counted it as being already hers because it had been already promised by her father. (Otterbein Teacher)

God promised Israel that He would bless them and heal them along the way to the Promised Land. And by faith, they could count those blessings as already sent because God is faithful to keep His word. Israel also learned that faithfulness and obedience, on their part, was good for them. There were times they had to learn this the hard way and times when they experienced it the easy way.


What are some of the ways you are serving God? What are some of the blessings you have received as a result of your service?


Praise God for some of the blessings you have recently received from Him. Praise God for some of the eternal blessings you have to look forward to receiving.