I Will Go Before You
I was reviewing a passage I read often and recite even more frequently.
“Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.” (Exodus 23:20 NKJV)
Not only does that promise sustain hope when we are anxious, it assures comfort at any moment we settle our faith in the God who cares exceedingly about our concerns.
As I read, I pondered the next couple verses,
“Beware of Him and obey His voice;
do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions;
for My name is in Him.
But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.”
How can I ever dismay when the eternal God declares we can be on HIS side?
But then I saw something I had forgotten was there. Previously I had highlighted vs. 27.
“I will send My fear before you…”
Thoughts tumbled one after another at that moment, but this one was particularly striking: There is no good reason to hesitate in following God anywhere if He not only goes before me – as my Guide, Protector, Companion, Friend – but He sends His fear ahead.
Anything I have to face in life – He has already been there to be Lord over it!
I read the rest of the chapter. He sends confusion ahead to our enemies, and He drives them out of the way. But not too soon – just little by little. Notes in my Wesley Bible (Thomas Nelson Inc., November 1990) suggest this is so I can mature the way He intends.
His ways promote patience and furthers growth in grace.
I read examples which demonstrated His fear at work before His children: some of God’s enemies were terrorized, Gen. 35:5; some were paralyzed, Ex. 15:16. Everywhere under the heavens there was dread in the hearts of those who heard reports, and they trembled in anguish, Deut. 2:25. In Joshua 2:9 the enemy was even prompted to take God’s side.
What a boost to my faith when I am made aware that God is ahead of me, going in whatever manner He chooses! And I am reminded to never give up, because trials will only make me a better person…in His time.