LED THROUGH THE WILDERNESS
Sunday, 14 January, 2018
“…So He led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.” ( Psalm 106: 9)
This Psalm briefly describes the nation’s attitude and behavior during the journey to the Promised Land from their land of bondage. God miraculously, through His servant Moses, delivered His people from 400 years of slavery. They had witnessed great miracles as they followed Moses; yet every time they were confronted by a problem, they forgot the past miraculous deliverance and they sinned greatly by doubting God. This sin led to their many sufferings and when they couldn’t tolerate the suffering, they repented and every time they repented God did forgive— but this cycle kept repeating itself. As a result, an eleven-day journey from Egypt to Canaan took forty years in the wilderness.
Taking the long way through our wilderness
We typically try to plan out our lives with a pre-set schedule of events—finishing college by this age, getting married by that age, building a home, having children and their education etc. But life often doesn’t tag along our carefully planned itinerary. Consequently, we may feel that we are wandering in a “wilderness,” moving in a different direction than we planned. God knows us better than we know ourselves; there can be many reasons God takes us the longer way through the wilderness. Some of the reasons may be same as that of the Israelites:-
Forgetfulness (V8) – ‘…they did not remember the multitude of Your mercies…’ While Psalm 103:2 reminds us: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”
Impatience (V13) – ‘…they did not wait for His counsel…’ God speaks to us from Psalm 32:8: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
Envy on God’s appointed leaders (V16) – ‘…they envied Moses and Aaron…’ 1Peter 2:1 says, “Put aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking.”
Idolatry (V19) – ‘…they worshipped the molded image…’ God gave the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3)
Disobedience (V25) – ‘…they did not heed the voice of the Lord…’ In John 14:15 Jesus tells us: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
Fellowship with the world (V35) – ‘…they mingled with the Gentiles…’1 Corinthians 6:14 reminds us: – “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.”
Can we examine ourselves today to see if any of these shortfalls is reason for our wilderness experiences? If the Holy Spirit convicts us in any of these areas, let us humbly submit to the LORD in repentance.
Comfort in the Wilderness
If we are in a wilderness journey, our great comfort is that we have a merciful and forgiving God. The God who performed all those miracles, who led His children through the wilderness, is the same One leading us today. If God does not bring us on the shortest path to His purposes— to the place that He has promised, then He has His reasons, and it is for our good! It is our job to keep moving forward on His path not ours.
God has in mind His best for us—we should not lose faith at the obstacles like the Red Sea or the battles on the way before reaching our destiny. We shouldn’t give up on what God has promised even though it seems slow in coming. And though it may be the long, weary way, don’t complain to God – GO FORWARD!
Thought For The Day- ‘The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.”’(Exodus 14:15)
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