Forty years of wilderness wandering plagued the Israelites because they listened to the report of ten spies instead of God’s promise to give them the promised land. They had experienced God’s miraculous works for their deliverance, yet still, rather than believing God’s promise and facing their enemies with faith, they were caught up in human deception and discouragement.
The giants occupying their land were huge and the enemies were strong, the challenge too dangerous, the risk too great. They refused to move out and take possession for fear of their lives. They wept and wailed through their night with bitterness! They complained and grumbled about their plight! Why did we leave Egypt? We’ll die in this forlorn land! Shouldn’t we just go back? Wouldn’t it be better? Be safer? Wouldn’t it just be easier back in captivity?
Those unfaithful, unbelieving, grumbling Israelites twenty years and older never made it into the land of promise because God saw to it that their unbelief would not be honoured.
Oh, the wilderness wanderings we face when we focus on deception rather than truth. When we focus on the giants instead of the promises; when we rebel instead of trust! You know it don’t you? The wilderness of rebellion, unbelief, deception and despair? Does your old slavery and bondage to sin just seem more comfortable, easier and safer than trusting God for deliverance?
We need to move on out and take what God has promised through trust, while He still gives opportunity. Courage is found when we take God at His word and trust Him even though the giants are many and the tasks impossible. I wonder who we hear? The reports of people or the Lord’s promises to us.
1 Corinthians 10:11
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”