Exodus – Deuteronomy
The books of Exodus through Deuteronomy relate the history of Israel’s triumphal departure from Egypt in fulfillment of what God had said to Abraham in Gen. 15:13-16. They also set forth the establishment of the Law covenant and Israel’s eventual preparation to enter the land to begin the repossession of the earth.
These are extremely important books to understand. No less than 5 crucial issues are set forth that must be understood and appreciated if the details of the outworking of God’s program with Israel is going to be comprehended. They are: 1. Israel’s Education in God’s “Jehovah-ness” and Grace (Ex. 1-18:27) 2. The Five Courses of Punishment of the Law (Lev. 26) 3. God’s Warning to Satan and the Gentiles (Num. 22-25). 4. The Making of an Additional Covenant (Deut. 29-30). 5. Moses’ Last Acts (Deut. 31-34).
Of these, the Five Courses of Punishment is the most important to understand. Israel’s history can be understood and appreciated when first the Five Courses of Punishment are understood.
According to Leviticus 26, failure to comply with the Law contract would merit Israel curses instead of blessings from God. Those curses are described as coming in progressive courses of punishment. There are five in all, each building upon the preceding one and intensifying the punishment. They are as follows: 1. Physical illnesses and afflictions; enemy raids and defeats in battle; tributary rule by border enemies. (Lev. 26:14-17) 2. Internal government problems; cursing of the land and its environment. (Lev. 26:18-20) 3. Increased severity of land judgments, including affliction from wild beasts. (Lev. 26:21-22) 4. Greater oppression by enemies, including occupation of their land with lengthy and persistent sieges. (Lev. 26:23-26) 5. National destruction and captivity, with removal from the land and captivity to the nations. (Lev. 26:27ff)
Simply put, Israel’s history is one of coming under these Five Courses of Punishment. Each Course is represented on the time line by its number placed within a circle.