Lessons While in The Wilderness

The Lord is very patient, and it is revealed over and over again, especially in His dealings with the Israelites after He rescued them from Pharoah and the Egyptians. The learning experience that had to take place between the Israelites and God consisted of teaching opportunities to build their faith and trust in Him. God will deal with His people physically and spiritually.God uses discipline upon us when it is necessary. We must be aware that there is a consequence to being disobedient to God. It doesn’t mean that a person doesn’t believe in Him, but it does reflect a lack of faith and trust in Him.
Hebrews 4:1-11
1 Therefore, while the promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear so that none of you should miss it. 2 For we also have received the good news just as they did; but the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith 3 (for we who have believed enter the rest), in keeping with what He has said:
So I swore in My anger,
they will not enter My rest.

And yet His works have been finished since the foundation of the world, 4 for somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in this way:
And on the seventh day
God rested from all His works.

5 Again, in that passage [He says], They will never enter My rest. 6 Since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again, He specifies a certain day— today —speaking through David after such a long time, as previously stated:
Today if you hear His voice,
do not harden your hearts.

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken later about another day. 9 A Sabbath rest remains, therefore, for God’s people. 10 For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. 11 Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.

In Numbers 14:1-4, the Israelites were having a grand “pity party” over their circumstances–all of their focus was on themselves and not in God. They already forgot about what God had done for them.

Numbers 14:1-4
1 Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the people wept that night. 2 All the Israelites complained about Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the LORD bringing us into this land to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt? 4 So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.”

The people were not recognizing God for who He was or expressing any love for Him. If there was a real expression of need, they would have called upon God for assistance. They wanted to change leaders, for they were rebellious and did not love God.

In the journey as we learn about God once we are saved through Jesus Christ, we continue to learn more about how to love Him. This is the experience that the Israelites had to learn in the wilderness. It took the Israelites 40 years to live in the wilderness, for it took a long time for them to understand that God did have a real concern for them. The children suffered for the unfaithfulness of the parents (Numbers 14:29-34).

God demonstrated His love for us and is concerned for all of His creation. It is hard for many to accept His love, as it often inconceivable to believe the love and grace that we experience.

Numbers 14:5-9
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell down with their faces [to the ground] in front of the whole assembly of the Israelite community. 6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who scouted out the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite community: “The land we passed through and explored is an extremely good land. 8 If the LORD is pleased with us, He will bring us into this land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and give it to us. 9 Only don’t rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land, for we will devour them. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us. Don’t be afraid of them!”

Our fear will sometimes cause us to be disobedient, when instead we should be trusting the Lord in faith. Our focus should be on seeking Him and His Word in our difficulties.

Numbers 14:11
The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people despise Me? How long will they not trust in Me despite all the signs I have performed among them?

When we are not recognizing who God is, we are actually showing contempt of Him, and a lack of contentment on our part. All of this takes us into the wilderness, which is far from the abundant life that Christ promises for each of us. God will lead you if you allow Him to, as long as you recognize Him as the Faithful and True leader of your life (1 John 1:9; Revelation 19:11).

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