Jesus is the Way to the Promised Land

In our previous postings we have been discussing the Tabernacle of God and demonstrating the many ways that the Tabernacle is prophetic of the life and words of Jesus. One thing we have not yet discussed is how the Tabernacle came into being and what its final destination was to be. In short the Tabernacle was created in the wilderness shortly after Moses led Israel out of the bondage of Egypt.

Crossing the Red Sea

Crossing the Red Sea

Their intended destination was the Promised Land where they would be able to dwell with and worship God in peace. This great story is communicated in the book of Deuteronomy and we will make an effort to give you the readers digest version here. In addition, our desire will be to communicate how Jesus is our way to the spiritual Promised Land of God.

The messages of Deuteronomy are the messages of a dying man who loved God and the people so much that he spent his dying days preparing their readiness to enter into the Promised Land. The book is a series of addresses designed to provide Israel with another chance to gain the lost promise of their forefathers. Moses greatest concern is that Israel would take up the idol worship and otherwise adopt the immorality of the existing culture.

Moses Prepares the People to Enter the Promised Land

Now the time has come for the people to enter into the Promised Land. Moses, even though he could not enter in himself, speaks to the people on several occasions in an effort to prepare them for this mission.

He reminds them of how their forefathers refused to go into the land and of the tragic result of their disobedience. He reminds them that this disobedience resulted in their sound defeat by the Canaanites when they had decided to enter the land without God’s support:

Then Moses told these words to all the children of Israel, and the people mourned greatly. And they rose early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, “Here we are, and we will go up to the place which the LORD has promised, for we have sinned!” And Moses said, “Now why do you transgress the command of the LORD? For this will not succeed. Do not go up, lest you be defeated by your enemies, for the LORD is not among you. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword; because you have turned away from the LORD, the LORD will not be with you.” But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop; nevertheless, neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses departed from the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah. (Numbers 14:39 44)

In addition, He reminds them of their thirty eight year desert experience. Moses reminded them of all of the times that God had supported them in the past. He testified to God’s role in delivering the nation from the bondage of Egypt:

So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the LORD as you have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, We shall all be dead. So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds; a great deal of livestock. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves. Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years; on that very same day; it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:30  – 41)

In addition, he references the victories that Israel had over nations to the east of Canaan that were also stronger than they were. He reminded them of how God had talked directly to them from the fire.

Moses before the Burning Bush

Moses before the Burning Bush

Moses also reviews the Ten Commandments with them in detail and focuses on their need to love God above all else:

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

He reminds them that they are a chosen people of God. He reminds them of the blessings of obedience and their being healed of all the diseases of Egypt, He tells them that God will go before them into the battle and he reminds them of how He took care of them in the desert.

He also reminds them of their past rebellions, identifying the time when the nation made to golden calf to worship:

Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, Come, and make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. And Aaron said to them, Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me. So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!  So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.” (Exodus 32:1 – 5)

Reminders of this type were provided to ensure that the nation was ready to enter into the Promised Land and that all would go well with them in the battle and occupation of the land. These teachings were the foundation necessary for success because they are the foundation upon which the covenant is based.

In our next posting we will look into how all of this relates to the life and words of Jesus. In addition, we will take a look at the implications of this story on our lives as Christians.