Posts Tagged Numbers 14: 22

Desert or Oasis

Numbers 14: 22

Surely all the men who … have not listened to My voice shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers.

This verse is taken from a piece of a conversation between God and Moses. I have to stop right here in awe of dialoguing with God. That should be a goal for us all and what a privilege it is to get to sit in on this conversation. Anyway, they are discussing the people that God freed from Egyptian slavery and subsequently led to the Promised Land. 

The end of the story is that these people did not get to enter the Promised Land even after travelling for years to reach it. What is going on here? The long and short of it is that you can only enter the land of promise by faith. The reason they didn’t get to go in is because of doubt, they did not listen to God’s voice. We run the same risk when we don’t turn our ears to hearing the voice of the Lord.

Let’s begin simply. The easiest way to hear God speak is simply to pick up the Bible and read it. If a person is unwilling to do that then there is very little any minister or even God Himself can do for them. They are going to die in the desert with their testimony of doubt. Everyone can hear God speaking to them because He has written it down. Let’s keep it simple here. Pick up the book. Read it. No excuses.

We love to look down our noses at the Israelites but many times we are their modern day equivalents. We think, “If I had been there I would have been different.” Well, we are there. Many of us are still wandering around in the desert despite the voices calling out to us. Additionally, consider that they did not have a Bible. Okay, they had a cloud and that is cool but you don’t have to go outside and see if the cloud is still there. You can pick up your Bible and have God speak to you any time you wish. It’s like having a tape recorder with God on it so that all you have to do is press “play” and God begins speaking to you. Wow!

Doesn’t it strike you that these folks followed God around for forty years and yet did not get to enter into the Promised Land? It grieves my heart for them. But then it grieves my heart tremendously today when I see so many people rob themselves of the promises of God. Do you know why the Israelites took 40 years to make an 11 day trip? The answer is exactly the same as to the question, “Why is Jesus taking so long to come back.” He sees us wandering around in doubt and unbelief and he knows if we are confronted with the promise we will not be able to enter in because of our unbelief. God did not take the Israelites the most direct route because of the littleness of their faith. He knew that would fall immediately. So He led them around in the desert; feeding them manna from heaven, water from rocks, meeting their every need and answering their every complaint. He went before them in the cloud by day and the pillar of fire at night, His very presence with them at all times. He showed them miracle upon miracle trying to build their faith. However, when they reached the goal and surveyed the land of promise their report was full of doubt. Love couldn’t let them go in because they would have destroyed themselves. So, God had to wait to raise up another generation, a generation that could go forth in faith and take possession of the land which God had already given them.

Let the report about our generation be different. Let us end the desert years and go boldly into the Promised Land. There is so much the Father has for us if we can but listen to Him and do what He says. We all need to hear the voice of God and that is available to each of us but the Israelites did not fail to enter in because they did not hear the voice of God. They failed because they did not listen to God. They didn’t attend to His word. It really is that simple. They didn’t give it the proper weight in their lives and they did not act according to the Word of God. We can be different. With just a little effort and faith as small as a mustard seed we revolutionize our experience and our environment. We can be the generation that believed. Read the Word, listen to what God is saying to us and be a believer.