Who heard God and rebelled? All those whom Moses led out of Egypt rebelled. With whom was God angry for 40 years? He was angry with those who sinned and died in the desert. Who did God swear would never enter his place of rest? He was talking about those who didn’t obey him. So we see that they couldn’t enter his place of rest because they didn’t believe. Hebrews 3:16-19 (GW)
They say the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But sometimes that straight line can end up being a very long trip when you reach the land of indecision, the place were fears are birthed. Given time these fears can paralyze an individual for a lifetime, rendering them unable to move from the status quo.
Israel had a hard time getting to where God intended for them to be. The plans and purposes he had in store for them were far greater than where they had already been. The place God was taking them was beyond their ability to comprehend. Not being able to see the end from the beginning left them to wander in the wilderness for a generation. They were unable to move beyond their own fears, doubts, and eventually unbelief.
Egyptian bondage had taken its toil. The people had lost their ability to be free and independent. They felt secure in their bondage, even though it meant daily persecution. The familiar and safe seemed far better than embracing the freedom the Lord offered.
It became a mindset. Get up, do the same thing over and over and look forward to much of the same (day after day) Although they cried out to God for relief, I am not sure they really knew nor wanted what God had in store. It seemed that the more God provided the more they complained, even to the point of refusing to follow into the promised land.
They remembered the stories of the promises God had made. They read about it in the books of their prophets. They longed for a time of autonomy. They were looking for a time when they would no longer be oppressed. God heard their cry and came to their rescue. But what happened? They refused the help.
Jesus came unto his own to rescue them from the bondage of sin and to offer a new kingdom. They crucified the Savior. They rejected the offer. They much preferred the way things were, to the way things ought to be. How many times do we miss out on the best God has to offer because we refuse to change? A state of mediocrity seems far better than pristine paradise. We would rather stay in the morass in which we find ourselves then to be redeemed for the life abundant Jesus taught about.
I know first hand how difficult transition can be. We become accustomed to being looked after by those who are not seeking our welfare but rather seeking to enslave us for their own selfish ambitions. Rather than being a free and independent person we find ourselves compromising our values and beliefs for a loaf of bread.
Esau sold his rightful birthright for a pot of stew. Many today are doing much the same thing. Instead of reaching for the promises of God set before us, we sell out to the lowest bidder, not even the highest, for a pot of stew. When you think about it, that is how many live their lives, eating from a pot of stew, convinced that is all there is, never realizing their fullest potential in Christ.
After leaving Egypt and crossing over the Red Sea, beholding the miracle that God wrought before them, Israel was still unable to enter the land of promise. Their biggest challenge was behind them. The Red Sea was far harder to cross over than the Jordan river would be. Having seen the miraculous it is hard to believe that they could not believe once again for a miracle. Oh do not kid yourselves into thinking you would have done anything different. I find in this day and age not many who are able to cross a small stream let alone a raging river.
I do not want to be too harsh on the Israelites because I too am faced with insurmountable obstacles as I try to step out and follow hard after God. I want to emphasize the word HARD in the preceding sentence. Following after God is not easy. It is not impossible but it certainly is not for the faint of heart. Take heart, be not afraid, He promised He would always be with us, even unto the end of the earth. Take a step of faith, be like Peter and get out of the boat of indecision and attempt to walk on the water of opportunity. Cross over to the place where you totally trust in God and you will be far happier and fulfilled than if you stay in the land of indecision.
A View from the Nest www.eagleviews.org
- Genesis 25 Twins! (truth2dare.wordpress.com)
- Esau Syndrome! (adifferentmeandyou.wordpress.com)
- Welfare or Well-fare? The Choice is Not Easy (eagleviews.org)
- Decepticons (eagleviews.org)
- A Time for Peace in the Middle East? (eagleviews.org)
- Freedom Riders (eagleviews.org)