As you may have noticed based on my testimony, I love the book of Exodus and the story about the children of Israel. I’ve been rereading the book because it’s one of my favorites, and it is so cool to see God speak new lessons through His living Word such as why God makes you wait for His promises. There are so many great verses that you can take away from this book, but I was stopped by the verses below from Exodus 23.
25. Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,
26. and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.
27. I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run.
28. I will send send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Caananites, and Hittites out of your way.
29. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you.
30. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.
Exodus 23 Context
Providing a little context behind this scripture, the children of Israel have recently been delivered from slavery in Egypt, and they are on their way to the promise land. Moses is currently on Mt Sinai with God, where he spends 40 days and 40 nights in communion with Him. He has just received the ten commandments, and the Lord is providing him with His laws and statutes to establish a covenant with His people. In addition, he provides Moses with a prophecy about what the future will look like.
I love how the Lord established laws for His people. It just demonstrates how God has rules for us to be in a relationship with Him, and it reminds me that real love has boundaries. We are not able to do whatever we want and expect to be in a relationship with God. If that’s the case, we’re the ones that sounds like we’re the god, not Him. But because of His laws, we are able to feel safe and protected. We are able to know that His love for us is real and our covenant with Him is kept.
The first thing that’s striking is verse 25. The only action that we as people must do is worship the Lord. God’s grace is so sufficient because the ratios don’t make any sense! He is the prime example of a relationship that is not 50/50. All we have to do is worship Him, but in return He will bless our daily needs, heal us, and give us a full life. And that’s not it. He will drive out our enemies, and we don’t even have to fight them. He does all the work! He will guide us during our dark times and when we feel lost in a wilderness. He will prosper everything we have.
I don’t know about you, but I’m humbled in realizing that all God wants is our hearts. Out of all the things that we can give the Lord, all He wants is for us to worship at His feet and surrender our lives to Him. He wants the fruit of our lips and the sacrifices of our hearts. All He wants is for us to love Him with all of our hearts and our minds, and in return He will bless us exceedingly above all we can ask or think. Isn’t that amazing? It’s probably the best deal you could possibly find.
God Provides for our Needs
But quick tidbit: God will provide us with what we need. He hasn’t promised all the extras in life that we think we need. For me, that’s money, a career, the perfect husband, amazing friends, etc. Don’t get me wrong. God is able to provide those things, but in terms of what He has promised, He has promised that He will give us what we need. So if there is something that we are praying for, yes that’s great and we should have the faith that God will provide it. I know I certainly have the faith that God will provide all the things I just listed, but it’s okay to rest in the fact that we are exactly where God wants us to be and we have exactly what we need for today. And we don’t need to worry about tomorrow and what we will have tomorrow, because tomorrow has enough worries of its own (Matthew 6:34).
But I think my favorite part of this scripture is verses 29 and 30. God explicitly tells Moses that He will not be giving them the promise land overnight. He describes their journey as a process and as something that is going to take some time.
Instead of having a heart of impatience, we should have a heart of gratitude. It’s a change of perspective. I’m thankful that God is taking care of loose ends and taking His time in preparing the best possible future for my life. And He’s doing the same for you too. Not only is He preparing your promise land for you, but He is also preparing you for it. How can God give us a beautiful future when our hearts are not in a place where we are able to receive it? Or why would we want God to give us anything before it is ready? It’d either be a waste, or we would ruin it.
So join me in reflecting and thinking about what it is that we’re asking God for. Is there something you want, yet it feels like God is taking forever to provide it? If yes, what are some areas in your life that you think still need to be prepared in order to receive your promise? Or what can you pray about so that you can remain patient during your time of waiting?
Hanha Hobson is an author, speaker, and the founder of Transparency Ministries. From published devotionals to empowerment workshops, she will stop at nothing to see women encounter God and she is passionate about teaching and equipping them to live a life of freedom. When she is not encouraging others or writing her heart out, she enjoys watching Grey’s Anatomy, eating Chickfila, and connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!