Exodus 3:7-10 (New Living Translation)
Then the LORD told him [Moses], “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey… Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me… You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”
Would Israel have followed Moses, if his message to them was ‘I will rescue you out of Egypt and take you into bondage to the Canaanites‘. I doubt it!
We all hope for a higher quality of life, free of poverty, suffering, and oppression.
This is why the most popular message from the Bible to a large number of professed Christians today, is the gospel of milk and honey. The gospel with the message that God wants to rescue us all from Egypt into a land flowing with milk and honey.
Egypt has come to represent everything evil and oppressive in our personal lives, family relationships, and societies in which we live in. Everybody has a ‘Egypt experience‘, moreso in poor countries in Africa, Asia, and South America.
So the gospel of milk and honey has many followers rightly desperate to get out of poverty. If poor countries were to become as wealthy as rich countries today, some think the gospel of milk and honey might not be so attractive.
Until then, the Church and her gospel of milk and honey provides hope to many poor and suffering people, telling them that though their governments are failing them, heaven won’t, and God will bless their hard work with good success.
May the Lord lead us into ‘well watered lands’ flowing with milk and honey, Amen!
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Image: Milk with honey, By Nandhinikandhasamy – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40029266
5 thoughts on “MILK AND HONEY – Part 1”
thanks for your post, I am somewhat confused by it though. It has an undertone that the Gospel is for those hoping for an “out” from poverty which implies that the gospel is not for the rich and prosperous?
Yet it is clear from the bible that All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23) and therefore ALL are in need of the righteousness that only God can provide, through Jesus.
If we reduce the Gospel to rescue from poverty we under-sell it, in-fact we reduce from it.
We couldn’t look at the rescue from Egypt apart from the Passover, which was conditioned on the blood of the lamb on the door-posts, otherwise Israel’s first born would have perished in Egypt. And Christ points rescue to this when he celebrates the Passover with his disciples @ the last supper, but this time the celebration is to remember His blood (instead of the lamb), and the rescue he provides is for the forgiveness of Sins and from the penalty of death.
The rescue from Egypt to the promised land is a picture of the rescue that Christ provides and our land with milk and honey is therefore in Heaven, rather than rescue from poverty.
If we were to take the Exodus and apply it directly to Africa, (without looking through Christ) wouldn’t we then be looking for a mass migration to Israel? – I think we both agree not.
Africa’s greatest need always remains the Gospel of forgiveness sins and to eternal life!
(There may be secondary benefits from living Godly lives that the Gospel produces – an ordered and just and therefore developing society – but that is not the aim (heart) of the Gospel. More than that this world and everything in it is perishing).
Not only Africa or poor nations need the Gospel, but indeed the whole world! for we all are poor in God’s sight, indebted by our sin, and unable to repay, except that we lean on Christ and his death, and his payment. The Rich and poor alike are in need of this rescue!
It would be great to hear back from you, as your article implies the Gospel rescues from poverty, far below down from what it gloriously is, – rescue from sin and death – to inherit eternal life in God’s new creation where there will be no sin, no sorrow, no death, nothing evil….. and life everlasting in fellowship with God as His people.
“..For whoever believes in Him (Jesus) will not perish but have eternal life” – John 3:16
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Great contribution Charles! Yes, the gospel is first about the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
The gospel of milk and honey as I mentioned in the post ‘has many followers rightly desperate to get out of poverty. If poor countries were to become as wealthy as rich countries today, some think the gospel of milk and honey might not be so attractive. Until then, the Church and her gospel of milk and honey provides hope to many poor and suffering people, telling them that though their governments are failing them, heaven won’t, and God will bless their hard work with good success.’
The gospel of the kingdom is for all humanity. The gospel of milk and honey on the hand is especially attractive to many who are struggling to improve to get out of poverty. Are they the only people God is concerned about? Of course not. God is concerned about all people, rich and poor, influential or non-influential.
Are poor people who see God first as a ticket out of poverty instead of their redeemer from sin and death, hopelessly wrong in their approach to God? Compare this with the Centurion, Jairus, or the woman with the issue of blood who touched Jesus garment. These three individuals approached Jesus with their pressing material or physical problem. Jesus responded positively, and then continued his ministry preaching and teaching about the kingdom.
So, when poor people put their need for bread, milk and honey, as their most pressing need before God, he would not turn them away; but crucially from God’s side of the matter, he will not end with providing bread, he will use bread as a starting point in developing a relationship with the poor and move on from there to other issues of the kingdom like faith, hope, love, righteousness, peace, and sanctification.
As we read the books of Exodus and Numbers, we see this pattern of God speaking about meeting the basic needs of the people, then gradually moving on to dealing with issues of sin and salvation. Our God meets us at our point of material need and takes us from there into higher and higher grounds of all the gospel of the kingdom contains, one step at a time, line by line, precept upon precept.