“Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel. I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the LORD your God.”
One way to measure a king's majesty is by the size of his empire. And it was an era when kings enlarge their territories by conquering weaker kingdoms
Look at the situation: God commanded the men of Israel to go up to Jerusalem three times a year:
1.Feast of the Unleavened Bread
2.Feast of Harvest
3.Feast of the Ingathering
All the men of Israel including their best warriors are in Jerusalem three times a year. What's left in the other towns and cities are the women and children. It will be natural for a greedy king nearby to take advantage during these times when Israel's defense amounts to ZERO.
But look at God's promise in verse 24: “no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the LORD your God.”
God promises that no one will even desire to take their lands.This shows the sovereignty of God even in subduing the desires of brutal men. Isn't this the same message of Proverbs 21:1
"The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases."
It took faith for the men of Israel to leave their families and go up to Jerusalem while cruel enemies may be lurking around. I take it as an application that we should trust the Lord in obedience for whatever he requires of us. If we do, we don't have to worry about the criminal minds surrounding us for he is able to restrain them.
But what about those times when criminal acts against God's people are not restrained? That question will be tackled in a separate post.