I have so much in common with the children of Israel as they wandered in the desert, waiting to lay claim to the promised land. I often become weary after following the Lord through what seems like one wilderness after another. I want to lay down, stop. My weak flesh and mind are often overcome with unbelief, “God, this thing you are asking me to do just seems too difficult? Are you really for me or against me? What if I perish financially or physically as I follow you by faith? Why would I leave my comfort to follow you on an unknown journey with an unknown future?”
Today, as I opened up God’s word, He brought me to my knees as He showed me my sin, my doubt, my unbelief, my fear and then showed me what it had cost the Israelites:
“The LORD our God said to us in Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighbors in the Arabah. See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.’
Then we set out from Horeb…And I said to you, ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is giving us. See, the LORD your God has set the land before you. Go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has told you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’
“Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. And you murmured in your tents and said, ‘Because the LORD hated us he has brought us out of the land of Egypt, to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. Where are we going up? Our brothers have made our hearts melt, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we. The cities are great and fortified up to heaven. And besides, we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.”‘ Then I said to you, ‘Do not be in dread or afraid of them. The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.’ Yet in spite of this word you did not believe the LORD your God. And the Lord heard your words and was angered.”–Deuteronomy 2: 6-7,19-21,26-32,34
The cost of their disobedience was that they would never set foot in the promised land. Sobering, humbling. If you read the passage their fear and hesitation are understandable. We are so much like them. We question His goodness, faithfulness and love, even when we have seen His power and sovereignty displayed for us in the past. Lord Jesus, save us from ourselves. We confess that our unbelief is great. Give us faith to turn towards You and take our journey into the unknown.