ISRAEL: APPLE OF GOD'S EYE
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Release date: October 2020. 344 pages.
The exodus from Egypt, is an outstanding example of God’s paternal care of His special people—Israel. But it is not just the amazing practical care and provision that is so significant as they proceeded through the “howling waste” of the inhospitable desert, so much as the fact that no other nation has ever received such personalised and caring provision on a day-to-day basis for the 40 years of the wilderness, as well as into the Land of Promise, for centuries beyond. No other nation has received such care even for 1 hour, let alone 1 day! It is unmistakable that Israel is the Apple of God’s Eye—and so the section on Israel in the wilderness is most compelling.
This situation was initiated by God, and it was completely enabled and sovereignly controlled by God. We could note the particular cases of the crossing of the Red Sea, and later the crossing at the Jordan, and then the battle at Jericho. And that would only be the tip of the iceberg. But also keep the perspective that free will still operated, as happened very notably at Kadesh Barnea. There were various rebellions—other operations of free will—like Miriam and Aaron when they opposed Moses; or Korah, Dathan, and Abiram with others, who rose up against Moses and Aaron; or when the people rebelled at the waters of Marah and Meribah; or when they complained about the food, etc. Free will was never curtailed—but neither was God’s sovereign plan.
The whole Exodus was fundamental to the outworking of God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God’s sovereign will. But it constantly required the obedience of the people, to stand still and see the deliverance of the LORD at the Red Sea, to follow in obedience at the battle of Jericho and God’s unique military strategy, and on into the Promised Land with various strategies of conquest, and later with the unique events of Gideon’s victory, and Hezekiah and others—and much more.
And God’s plan was seriously affected—but not curtailed—by their disobedience at the pivotal events surrounding Kadesh Barnea. That rebellion resulted in their 2-year journey (travelling with a definite goal) to the Promised Land, being elongated by 38 years of wandering (travelling aimlessly in circles).
Without His overruling, presence and provision, it would have been an exercise in futility. Only He knew the end from the beginning, and what would be required from food and water to weapons of war and beyond—especially with the elongation of 38 years.
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