Summary: God leads his people through difficulties to the promised land
I often think that change and the future are two things that strike fear into a person’s soul. It is the uncertainty of not knowing what lies ahead. For in the familiar there is security. We have all experienced it I am sure. There are times when our relationships suddenly seem to be uncertain along with our friendships, our jobs and many more things I am sure that we can all call to mind.
The Israelites had been led out of their slavery and into the wilderness looking for the Promised Land. At first they set off full of optimism and eagerness but as the time passed by they began to lose their faith and suddenly started looking back to the good bad old days. They began to draw comparisons and they began to wonder if they perhaps were not better off in their bondage. At least they were fed and that to them seemed to be worth a lot. They began to be trouble for their leaders and little pockets of renegades were everywhere talking out against Moses and God.
Why was it that they were like this and why did they want to go back to being slaves. We must remember that they were in a desolate place. There was very little round about them and food was certainly scarce. They could not see any way out of the route they were taking. To them all that lay ahead was dusty ground, thirst and hunger. We only have to ask ourselves how would we have thought and what would we have done? Would we have turned back to that which was so familiar, knowing that at least we would survive? But when we look at the situation that the Israelites were in we can see several important issues that stand out to us.
1. We must trust in God to bring us through.
2. God will nourish us.
3. He will deliver us to the Promised Land.
We must trust in God to bring us through. The Israelites had seen many signs when God had shown his might and power to Pharaoh as he tried to persuade him to let his people go. God had protected them from death when the angel of death passed over them. The river had run red with blood.
He had led them through his servant Moses and yet still they doubted him. I always find it hard to believe something without actually seeing it, I suppose that is the policeman in me always wanting hard evidence, yet if I had been in their shoes I know that I would have been totally convinced by all that I had seen. For proof had been before their very eyes. Yet now all that seemed to be forgotten and doubt was in their minds. There are some people in this life that we know we can trust and there are others that we know we are unable to trust. The comparison that I am trying to make is that if a person says something is right and we trust that person then we will accept it without question, yet if the person who says it is one who we do not trust then we will tend to question it and look deeper before accepting it. I believe that the people who Moses was leading did not really know God at all and by not knowing him they did not trust him. I am sure that they did not really want to be back in slavery but instead they just wanted their plight to get easier. When we are with familiar things then we feel comfortable and secure. Moses did believe everything God had said. He knew that they would eventually be brought to that destination which had been promised to them. His job was to convince the others that were he was leading them was in the direction of God.
What we have to try and remember is that when the going gets tough for us then that is the time that our faith must remain firm. It is all too easy to suddenly forget God and start to try to rely upon our own inner strength. When trouble times are upon us then this is the time when we must have time with God. It is important to have time in prayer and conversation with god bringing all our concerns to him so that we may be helped. Only this last week I read where the archbishop of Canterbury has been quoted as saying that people are turning to other means to unburden themselves. Instead of other means we should be coming to God to receive his blessing and his love that is so freely offered to us, yet is so very often thrown back in his face.