God called physical Israel out of bondage in Egypt and delivered them by mighty miracles so that they even passed through the Red Sea dry shod.
From there they journeyed through the wilderness until they arrived at the foot of Mount Sinai and God appeared in a thick cloud on the top of the mountain and we find it recorded in:
Exodus 19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings [that is by God’s great power], and brought you unto myself. 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant [which covenant was being made at Sinai], then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 19:7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
Then over the next few chapters God delivered to Moses the terms of his covenant with Israel and a book of the Covenant was written and we find in Exodus 24:7 that Moses said that he took the book of the Covenant and read it in the audience of the people and they replied “all that the Lord has said will we do.”
Now this covenant was a marriage covenant whereby God promised to cherish and care for and bless his people if they would obey him like a wife is supposed to obey her husband and this Moses was chosen as the mediator of this marriage covenant, and as the mediator was Moses this has been called the Mosaic Covenant
At this time Moses went up on the mountain to confer with God about what God expected of the people and while he was on the mountain the people corrupted themselves so that Moses had to rush down from the mountain and sternly rebuke and correct the people; then the mediator of the Mosaic Covenant. Moses, went back up on the mountain and for forty days and forty nights conferred with God receiving the commandments, laws, statutes, ordinances, judgments and the instructions of God regarding everything that God would require of his people, his wife.
Then Moses came down from the mountain and taught all these things unto the seventy and the priests and to the elders of the people and they in turn would have passed these things on, teaching all the people everything that God required of them.
The best part of the year was then spent teaching the people and building the tabernacle and the ark then God was ready to bring the people into the land and give him their inheritance as he had promised their ancestor Abraham; and Moses sent 12 spies to search out the land and they returned giving a glowing report of the fertility of the land: but 10 of those spies were defeatist and they said that the people are strong and powerful and we cannot overcome them we cannot possess the land.
But Joshua and Caleb were strong in the Eternal and they said “the Lord who brought you through the Red Sea and delivered you from Egypt will go before us: who can stand against us let us go in;” and then the people who had declared “all that the Lord has said we will do” refused to go in because they lacked faith and they did not believe that the Eternal would deliver them and would give them the land.
So God answered them and said all right you refused to go in and refused to obey me and go in, therefore you shall not go in, I will not allow you to go in.
And the people compounded their sin first refusing to go in when they were told to do so and now they decided that they would go in when they were told not to do so. Then the people assayed to go forth and enter the land and they were given a very bloody nose by the inhabitants of the land because the Eternal was not with them and God had said that these people who rebelled and refused to go in in the first place would not be allowed to go in and that they would die in the wilderness and it would be their children their descendants who would be allowed to enter the land.
For forty years they wondered in that wilderness the older generation dying off and there were several rebellions during that time as well, so the people had begun to establish a track record of falling away from God and rebelling against God in spite of their commitment at Sinai to live by every Word of God.
Then after 40 years in the wilderness all of the older generation had died except Joshua and Caleb and Israel once again gathered at the border of the Promised Land because God was about to lead them in; and God told Moses to ordain Joshua his successor.
Moses did not choose Joshua God chose Joshua and Joshua proved to be a valiant and godly man and all Israel were faithful to God throughout the leadership of Joshua and those whom Joshua had taught.
At the border now Moses is commanded to prepare to die and Moses stood up before the elders and the seventy and the priests and gave his final address; we call this the book of Deuteronomy or the fifth book of Moses.
This book details somewhat of the history of Israel from Egypt unto that time and it also gives a list of the laws statutes precepts and judgments that God required of the people and finally Moses emphasizes thoroughly from God that possession of the promised land was totally conditional upon the people remaining faithful to live by every Word of God.
Warning that if the people went astray God would afflict them and allow them to be oppressed and if they still continued to go astray and would not repent then God would remove them from the land.
Driving the Canaanites out or slaughtering them may seem like a very harsh thing and we know that in the days of Abraham Isaac and Jacob the sins of the Canaanites had not yet come to the full. We know that Judah and various others probably of Israel actually married Canaanites and there is Canaanite blood or Canaanite heritage in the bloodlines of Israel; yet by the time Israel came out of Egypt and the 40 years after that, the Canaanites had become an extremely wicked people that God chose to use as an example of what will ultimately happen to all Unrepentant wicked
Israel was instructed that when they entered the land they were to destroy all idols and all of the high places or places of worship of the idols and that they were not to intermarry with the Canaanites and they were not to allow their sons and daughters to intermarry with the Canaanites because of the degree of wickedness that the Canaanites had fallen into.
Willingly knowingly becoming one flesh with the unconverted and joining with them in matrimony places us in an extremely compromising position, because of our love for our spouses they are an influence on us and intermarriage between converted and unconverted people is absolutely forbidden by Almighty God.
This is not a racial thing it is not a question of race, it is a matter of the converted marrying the unconverted which is absolutely forbidden lest the unconverted turn the heads of the converted away from their faith.
After speaking all these words God took Moses to an unknown place where he died and the elders and scribes wrote out all the words that Moses had spoken and from that time Joshua became the leader of
Israel and he led them into the land of Canaan where over seven years part of the land was taken and then over seven more years the land was divided and then Joshua died.
Now after Joshua and his associates died the people became comfortable on their land and they fell away from God therefore God kept his promise and fulfilled his warnings and withdrew his blessings from the people.
From that time on their neighbors began to oppress them and over a period of time they sank deeper and deeper into more and more trouble, the people of Israel began to cry out to God for deliverance and he sent them champions to deliver them and also to teach them godliness
The people turned to God as long as that champion would live but when that Judge died the people quickly fell away from God.
This process became a recurring cycle of falling away from God into great and many sins particularly idolatry, and then crying out for deliverance when their neighbors oppressed them and then receiving a champion to deliver them and turning back to God for a short period until that champion died.
This cycle was repeated over and over again through the several hundred years of the period of judges until finally during the time of Samuel the people came to Samuel and they said “we would like to have a hereditary king like the other nations around us.” Probably because they appeared to have some sort of stability and the people longed for stability without realizing that the root of the problem was their own continual apostasy and falling away from godliness and had nothing to do with their form of government.
God heard the request of the people and he gave them their request giving them the kind of king that they really wanted to have. Saul was anointed king and he was a very impressive imposing man and indeed he turned out to be an extremely valiant man destroying many of the enemies of Israel.
Nevertheless he began to fear the people more than he feared God and he became a political creature and because of this he offended God and the kingdom was taken from him and God sent Samuel to anoint a man after his own heart after God’s own heart whose name was David.
Now this David was a man who was not unacquainted with sin, he sinned very grievously on a number of occasions. Why was he a man after God’s own heart? Because as soon as he realized his sin he repented, he repented totally wholeheartedly, absolutely, completely and he never did those sins again.
That is the kind of person God wants, God wants a person who hates sin and when he finds himself in sin he stops sinning.
This David was a mighty man of God and because of his zeal for God and his love for all things pertaining to God and for godliness, God promised him that he would be resurrected from the dead one day and he would rule over a united Israel and Judah forevermore.
David had a son, Solomon by name and God promised that God would make Solomon king over Israel when David died; and so Solomon who was brought up in all the wisdom that David could teach him became king over Israel.
God asked Solomon “what will you that I grant to you?,” God was asking Solomon to make his request and Solomon requested understanding and wisdom in order to lead the people wisely in godliness.
God granted Solomon’s request and Solomon was a very wise person but Solomon was given to testing and trying things out for himself rather than believing the Word of God, and so Solomon dabbled in many things he should have kept himself from and thereby sinned.
Solomon also contracted many marriages with the nations around him, marriages with unconverted brides. These marriages were often made for the purpose of contracting and cementing international alliances and business affairs.
Remember that God had told Israel before they entered the land that they were not to marry unconverted women and that they were to destroy all idols and all the high places of those idols. Therefore, in this matter of marrying many wives who were unconverted, Solomon sinned greatly and placed himself in a very compromising situation.
You see, Solomon took three hundred wives and seven hundred concubines, most of whom were unconverted. Can you imagine being one of Solomon’s wives, at the very best you might see him once every three or four years and in fact Solomon built his palace on the Temple Mount and all of his wives were housed elsewhere in the city so they didn’t even get a glimpse of him except very rarely.
They must have felt very frustrated and lonely and longing for home where they were somebody, where they were princesses and they were really somebody as opposed to being in Solomon’s household where they were only one out of a thousand.
These women would have complained and they would have wanted to go home and they would have sought to go home and Solomon would have been pressured because of his business arrangements and his international treaties which these marriages had confirmed and cemented as alliances between the various royal families.
Solomon was in a bind he was caught in a trap, he could not let these women go home and he could not please them and keep them happy.
He was going to be big trouble, he was in big trouble in the harem.
Solomon resorted to building high places in Jerusalem where these women could worship their gods, their various idols their various gods; and in trying to placate these women Solomon sinned greatly against the Eternal, for God had commanded Israel you shall not marry unconverted wives and you shall destroy all idols and all the high places of those idols.
Solomon instead of obeying the command to destroy the high places and to destroy the idols, allowed the worship of these idols and he actually built high places where they could be worshiped.
God had given Solomon the gift of enormous wisdom and enormous wealth and honor amongst the nations and how had Solomon responded; Solomon had disobeyed the commandments of the Eternal and fallen away from God.
Therefore God was angry with Solomon and he informed Solomon that he would rend ten tribes of Israel away from his kingly line and that his son Rehoboam would be left with two tribes, only the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin; understanding that the tribe of Levi was scattered throughout all the tribes.
God told Solomon “I will take away ten tribes from your kingdom but I will not do it during your reign because of my respect for your father David but I will do it in the reign of your son.”
The next program will continue with the history of Israel and Judah up until the Babylonian captivity.