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In His covenant with the nation of Israel, God promised it national deliverance from their enemies saying, “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways” (Deuteronomy 28:7). But this promise was conditional on their obedience to Him. As long as the nation of Israel was obedient to God, He was faithful to His promise. And He fulfilled His promise to them in delivering them from their national enemies, such as Egypt, Midian, Philistia, Assyria, and Babylon.
Old Testament prophets spoke of the deliverance from enemies. One example is the prophet Daniel who projected national freedom saying, “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44; also 7:14, 18; 12:1).
The Scriptures stress that the Savior would appear, “to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). Israel was not only a nation in need of deliverance from sin (Luke 1:68, 77), It was also a nation, a “chosen people” in need of freedom from their enemies (v. 71). So, the prevalent idea of the Messiah as a political savior was not altogether wrong.
But in God’s design freedom from sin was to go before freedom from the enemies. Sadly, the Israelites failed to maintain their allegiance to God. Instead of being faithful to Him, they back slid and worshiped pagan gods. National pride led them to think of salvation almost solely in terms of deliverance from enemies. They were engrossed on the benefits of salvation without paying attention to the conditions of Gods’s covenant. If Israel had accepted Christ, He would have granted them sure deliverance from the Romans as He originally promised.
In His service,