Listen, Can You Hear It?

See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared” —Exodus 23:20, NIV

I wonder if Moses ever got writer’s cramp? We often think of the Ten Commandments as only, well, ten. In fact, there followed the giving of the basic ten a whole waft of others along with instructions for every detail of building the Tabernacle. And in the middle of taking note of the myriad of instructions about the laws that were to govern the new nation of Israel comes this wonderful promise. Perhaps this was the point at which Moses was thinking, as he rubbed his sore fingers: “How on earth am I ever going to do all this stuff?” The weight of responsibility for the physical and moral well-being of a couple of million people tracking through the desert was not a light burden.

Moses had seen God’s provision in the past. But like all of us, each fresh challenge seems to require a fresh assurance that the God who looked after business yesterday is still looking after business today.

Throughout this little break in the dictation, the Lord repeated that the angel would go “ahead” of Israel. Like a point man or an early warning system or an advance team, the angel would smooth out things before Moses and Israel arrived. There would still be battles to be fought, but how many were already taken care of before they arrived only God would know.

We know that there will be challenges ahead of us. Facing and overcoming those is all part of our spiritual growth. And God knows exactly how many challenges to allow to come into our lives and exactly how intense they need to be to accomplish in us his divine purposes. What we may never know is how many times his angel has gone ahead and cleared that path to God’s destination for us by removing those obstacles that are not beneficial to our spiritual progress.

How many times have you and I said when passing an accident on the highway: “Wow, if we’d been here a minute earlier it could have been us?” How many times have we wondered why we miraculously escaped some difficulty or tragedy?

Do you hear the rustle of angel wings?


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