Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Are we on a 40 year journey that should only take weeks?

Apparently the distance from Egypt to Canaan - which took the Israelites 40 years to cross - was a mere couple week journey if you'd just travel in a straight line.

So, why 40 years? Numbers 14 tells us that it was punishment for the Israelites' lack of faith. Israel had two occasions to move into Canaan. The first time came after relatively straight line travel - not 40 years. But when the Lord told them to enter into Canaan on that occasion they became afraid, began to grumble and complain, then refused to go in. In the space of a few weeks they completely forgot how the Lord delivered them from Pharaoh's powerful grip. Only a few like Joshua and Caleb trusted God the first time Israel stood at Canaan's door. Except for these few - who God later allowed to go through that door, everyone else died during the 40 years of desert wandering.

The wandering was a way of letting the doubters die out ... the punishment seems harsh ... doesn't it? Then again, God did give them what they wanted - safety, food and mediocrity. He took care of them for all 40 years. No one died for lack of food, water or shelter in the harsh desert. He remained faithful to them.

At the same time, He trained up a new generation - a group poised to trust Him more than their mothers and fathers. These young people, along with Joshua and Caleb, entered Canaan 40 years later - and saw God do amazing things on their behalf...

What about us? Do we hear God saying "go" but we hold back because of fear and our lack of faith?

Are we travelling on a 40-year journey that should only take a few weeks and being in danger of missing out on God's big adventure?

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