Summary: Sermon 7 of 32 of a series inspired by Frazee and Lucado.
The Story - Chapter 6
October 17, 2010
One of the fun things about vacations is arriving at your destination. There is this anticipation of what it’s going to be like when you arrive. It’s one of the fun things about vacations. Maybe it’s arriving at the Grand Canyon, a trip to Washington D.C., or you go to the mountains to ski, a warm beach in the winter or catching your first glimpse of the rides at Kings Island. The arrival is awesome.
But the process of getting there is a different story. Often times, they aren’t so much fun. We can laugh when we watch that wonderful, irreverent movie with Chevy Chase playing Clark Griswold as he takes his family on family vacations.
One of the hazards of taking road trips is including the kids. It’s an occupational hazard which adds stress to the trip. When I was growing up, my 2 sisters and I shared the back seat. Since you took most road trips in the middle of the summer, it was hot, and most people didn’t have air conditioning, the windows were open, we were cranky and would gladly irritate one another as we got into each others space.
They were so much fun. Kids, you need to know, we didn’t have game boys, computers, portable DVD players, cell phones or I-pods. You had to make your own fun, and sometimes the most fun you had was bugging the person next to you, or falling asleep in the back seat with 95o wind blowing in your face. Of course the inevitable question always came up, it’s one I’ve been asked a time or two as well. “Are we there yet?” 5 minutes into the trip and they’re ready for the final destination.
But you need to understand, when the Deutsch family takes a road trip I don’t go through any of this because you see my kids are Pastors Kids. But I try to identify with all of you and the trouble you experience. I’m joking.
Of course the worse thing is when you’re the driver, and you think you know where you’re going, but you really don’t know where you’re going. Nowadays we have Global Positioning Systems, better known as G.P.S. You can have someone else tell you where to go, but have you ever noticed, there are times when you think you’re right and they’re wrong, or it ends up, they’re right and you’re wrong?
Well, all that’s to say, the Israelites were on a road trip from Egypt and their final destination was the land of Canaan . . . the promised land. The land was promised over 650 years before that to Abraham. Moses is the driver, the children in the back seat are the Israelites and their destination was the land flowing with milk and honey.
Instead of having a couple of kids, Moses has between 1 and 3 million children in the back seat. Just like kids getting restless, the Israelites quickly became restless. The Story points out 3 instances where the people really struggled with the road trip.
On page 57-59 or Numbers 11-12. The first complaint is about their overall hardships of the journey. The 2nd instance are complaints about food. You may recall God is miraculously providing manna which falls from the sky everyday. This is a miracle from God. But the people are getting tired of manna. After all, you can only fix manna in so many ways . . . manna stew, manna gumbo, fried manna, boiled manna. They’ve done everything they can do with it, and they complain. Finally, Miriam and Aaron, Moses sister and brother get in on the action and start with the backseat driving complaints. Why does God only speak to Moses? Why does Moses get to drive the car? In all 3 instances God pulls the car over to the side of the road and disciplines the kids.
Numbers 14:22 tells us there were 10 outbreaks of juvenile behavior and the rebels were dealt with by God.
As they continue, a watershed moment occurs when 1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders. (13:1-2)
So, Moses sent out one leader from each of the 12 tribes. These are the men who drove the cars for their tribes. Their mission was to go into the land, their final destination, which God was giving them, and explore the land. They were almost there.
On the bottom of page 60, Numbers 13:25, we’re told the spies were gone for 40 days exploring the land of Canaan. They came back and told Moses ‘the land is definitely fertile, it’s beautiful, it’s awesome, it’s flowing with milk and honey. Here is some of the fruit. Doesn’t it sound great!? But then they continue . . .