The whole history of the Israelites leaving Egypt behind them and travelling through the wilderness for forty long years before finally entering and conquering the Promised land, can be taken as a huge metaphor for the journey of faith that each new Christian must make.
In the passage below, the community can only see the risks that they face in settling Canaan. Only two men can see past the obstacles in their way. They had two advantages. Firstly, they had seen the promised land for themselves and knew it to be such a good place as to be well worth the risk. Secondly, they remembered everything the Lord had done for them to get them this far and saw that with the Lord as their guide they could overcome any resistance.
Numbers 14:1-9 NLT
Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!” Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”
The challenge of living your life with and for Jesus is a lot like settling the promised land was for the Israelites. First you need to leave your old life of slavery to sin behind you. Then there is a period of reflection and readjustment that can be hard going and confusing and can seem initially, to be worse than life was before. It is when you reach this point as a new Christian, that you need to hear good reports of what awaits you in the promised land. My goal is to keep the ultimate destination always in my mind. I want to fix my heart on my place in God’s Kingdom.
Numbers 14:1-15:16, Mark 14:53-72, Psalms 53:1-6, Proverbs 11:4