Promised Land Journey.
The promised land journey out of Egypt began with hope, a promise, and miracle after miracle. Those six million people from twelve tribes marched out of Egypt with God leading them. It wasn’t long until they grumbled and complained.
“We should have stayed in Egypt,” they cried. “Now we’re going to die here. There is the sea in front of us and Pharaoh’s army behind us. We’re going to die right here!”
But GOD had plans, and He fulfilled His promise. Event after event, He stayed the same, keeping every promise. Event after event, they griped and complained and wearied Moses and each other with their cares. You can read the beginning of the story here.
God provided manna. He provided clothing that did not wear out for those forty years. Jehovah-Jireh [God provides] sent quail to shut up their complaining. He provided water from a rock. He defeated armies and made their enemies cower.
They traveled toward the land of promise – camping in the desert, drinking water from a spring, herding their cattle and sheep across rugged terrain, carrying babies on hips and following the pillar of cloud in the daytime. Jehovah God provided a pillar of fire by night in addition to the daytime cloud for their guidance and their protection. God’s faithfulness remained the same.
The day came when God said those over the age of forty would not enter the Promised Land. Fear was the motivating factor. We can flip that and call it unbelief or untrust that caused their loss. These people rejected the land promised to them by rejecting the promises of God.
40 years for 40 days.
When Moses sent twelve spies into the land of Canaan, only two returned with a good report. The others led the faith-buster. Because of their lack of faith, God promised they would wander in the wilderness for 40 years – one year for every day the 40 days the spies checked out Canaan. Canaan was the land of promise. Because the people believed the ten fearful spies instead of Joshua and Caleb, a whole generation forfeited their chance to see the promised land. God said they would wander in the wilderness until all the people over the age of 40 were dead. Then, and only then, would He lead them into the promised land.
God kept that promise. He continued to lead the people and provide for them. His care was indeed miraculous. No other time before or since then have people gone so long without needing food or clothing, because the supply was endless.
Promised Land forfeit
The children of Israel did a lot of complaining, bickering, and doubting during their journey. Many times Moses asked God to forgive their sin – and He did. The consequences of their disobedience (lack of faith) resulted in their not entering the promised land.
That is how it is with us. Our promised land is Heaven. The provision is made, the promise is sure. All we have to do is believe and obey.
Lack of belief, lack of faith assures us that we will lose the promised land. It’s so easy to say – and so hard to do.
When you are tempted to doubt or to question God and His promises, remember the children of Israel. The promised land was theirs to claim. All they had to do was follow and obey. To not obey was disbelief. That disbelief cost them the promised land.
May it not be true of us.
Photo credits: Curtis and Pip Reid of Bible Pathway Adventures via freebibleimages.org