INTERESTING FACTS :
Which single author contributed the most books to the Old Testament? Moses. He wrote the first five books of the Bible, referred to as the Pentateuch; the foundation of the Bible[1
DAILY READING : [EXODUS 22 - 24]
TEXT : Exo 23:20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Exo 23:21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. Exo 23:22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. Exo 23:23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.
THEME : GOD'S GUIDANCE
In these chapters of Exodus, we see the finer details of the Law. The Law covers all matters for the people of Israel - civil, moral, and even military. Israel is the only nation to have all of their laws combined in one Book. For instance, we have one code for the military, another for civil matters, and yet another for moral or religious subjects. However, Israel had all their laws in one Book - the Torah - found in the Pentateuch, which are the first five Books of the Bible. The Law or Torah is contained within the Pentateuch.
Without highlighting all the laws contained in the Torah, there is one I would like to point out. It is found in Exodus 23:2. It says - "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to turn aside after a multitude to wrest justice?" From this one law, we learn a great lesson in life. William Penn, the founder of the State of Pennsylvania once said - "Right is right even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong even if everyone is for it." William Penn knew the meaning and intent behind this law of the Torah.
How true the axiom - "better to be alone than in bad company." The reason is that bad company corrupts good morals. The Apostle Paul wrote - "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." [1Co 15:33] When a crowd decides to do what is wrong in God's eyes, most people tend to follow without objection. They may know what the crowd is doing is wrong, but the fear of Man prevents them from not walking with the "majority." It is in our nature, not to "make waves" or to "tip the apple cart." Yet, we must make the decision to do what is right regardless of how many are not doing it.
This one particular law in the Torah would cause Israel much trouble. Perhaps, many of the dilemmas Israel would find themselves later in history could have been prevented if those who knew better did not follow the multitude. Edmund Burke was the one who coined the phrase - "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." That is, if those who knew what was right, even if they did not follow the multitude, stood up and objected to the sins of the crowd it may have made a difference in the years when Israel saw God's judgments fall on them.
TRUTH FOR TODAY : WE ARE NEVER ALONE!
God promised Israel He would be with them as they entered Canaan. In chapter twenty-three, He states that He will send His Angel to go before them to prepare the way and to guide them. The reason "Angel" is capitalized in the King James Bible, is due to the fact those some Bible scholars believe this messenger [the meaning of the word "angel"] is Jesus Christ. Notice in verse twenty-one God says "His" Name is "in Him."
We know from the New Testament, that God the Father gave Jesus a name [some versions of the Bible say "the" Name] that is above every other name, that at His name every knee should bow and tongue confess that He [Jesus] is [the] Lord. " Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." [Php 2:9 - 11]
To call any man "Lord" in the sense of being equal with Israel's God - Jehovah [LORD], is blasphemy. This is why some reject the doctrine of the deity of Christ. That is, to equate Jesus of Nazareth with Jehovah is against God's Law in the Ten Commandments, specifically, the first three commandments. Yet, the New Testament declares Jesus to be the Lord of the Old Testament.
Nevertheless, the Angel that would guide Israel has Jehovah's Name in Him. In all probability, this is an appearance of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament called a "theophany," which is "a visible manifestation to humankind of God" [Oxford English Dictionary]. Notice the authority of this Angel. Also, observe the power in His Hand to make judgments against God's own people. Jesus said - "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. [Joh 5:22 - 23] This is the reason many believe this Angel to be Christ Himself.
As the Angel would guide and protect Israel, and under the assumption, the Angel is Christ, we have the same promise given to us as Christians. Jesus said - "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." [Mat 28:20] Jesus words are the same as they were in the Old Testament. He will guide us, stay with us, teach us, and when necessary - correct us, to the end of the world.
In addition, we have this promise as well. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;" " Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." [Joh 14:16; 16:13 - 14]
Like Israel in the Book of Exodus, we have a Guide who will never leave us or forsake us. Although there are times we may feel forsaken, we are not! As members of Christ's Body - we are never alone!