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Wandering

Apr 5, 2020    Raul Otero    The Story: The Bible As One Continuing Story of God And His People
God’s plan was clear: deliver His people through a series of miracles, defeat their enemies, give them a covenant and set of laws to make them a chosen nation, and provide them a land of promise. Simple, right? God speaks, the people listen. God delivers, the people believe. God provides, the people trust. Well, maybe not so much.

God always held up His end of the bargain: He always provided, always delivered, always kept His promises. It turns out the people were equally consistent: They always forgot, always questioned, always rebelled. Their lack-of-faith list was long. When daily bread fell from heaven, they craved a taste of
Egypt. Even Moses’ siblings, Miriam and Aaron, grew jealous and undermined their brother’s leadership.

Then they reached Kadesh and the perimeter of promise became a pinnacle of rebellion. Moses sent twelve leaders to spy out the Promised Land of Canaan. Ten of the twelve said the cities were too strong, the people too big, and God was too small. Only two, Caleb and Joshua, trusted God. They encouraged
Israel to go and take what God had given them, but the people complained and failed to believe.

Failure always begins with unbelief. So, Israel spent the next forty years wandering aimlessly in the wilderness. The faithless generation would die out before they set foot on the other side of the land of promise. Only Caleb and Joshua would outlive them all to eventually cross over into their inheritance.

Forty years later, the story comes full circle again to Kadesh, the edge of the promised frontier – and little had changed. The people needed water, so they did what they do best…they complained. And God did what He does best…He provided. The LORD pointed Moses to a rock. He told him to speak to the rock
and water would pour out. Moses struck it with his staff instead. The water still gushed out, but Moses and Aaron had ignored God’s instruction and lost their right of admission to the Promised Land.

Moses then commissioned Joshua as Israel’s new leader before giving his farewell address. He reminded them of all that the LORD had done. He told them again about their special role as His chosen nation and how they would enjoy His blessings if they would simply love and obey Him. Then Moses died and was buried by the LORD.

The wilderness wanderings remind us that faith leads to life and unbelief leads to death. Faith honors God and God always honors the faithful.

READ THE STORY. EXPERIENCE THE BIBLE. © Zondervan 2010

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