When you arrive in the land…
Three times a year you shall hold a festival for Me:
They shall not remain in your land, lest they cause you to sin against Me; for you will serve their gods—and it will prove a snare to you.
Our passage begins with a mention of the three pilgrimage festivals, the Festival of Matzos (Passover), Festival of the Harvest (Shavuot/Weeks) and Festival of the Ingathering (Sukkot/Booths). God requires that during these three festivals, which coincide with the agricultural cycle of the year, His people bring specific sacrifices to His place of worship.
From there, God promises He will send an angel before the nation to protect them on their way to the Promised Land. If the people follow God’s commands, the angel will pave the way before them to settle in the land, and God will shower them with blessings. He will strike fear into the hearts of their enemies, bless their fields and their wombs. He enjoins the nation not to learn from the worship of the current inhabitants of the land to serve other gods.
God says the nation will become increased and inherit the land. As the Israel Bible points out, we are seeing the fulfilment of this success in our time, as the once-desolate land blossoms under the Jewish return to the land and the country benefits from spiritual, economic and technological success.
Virtual Classroom Discussion
Why do you think God says He will send an angel before the nation instead of saying He will take them into the land? Based on his description, do you think this angel is metaphysical or human?