The Beginning and the End (and the End) of Egypt

Genesis 46.3, 4a And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:  I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again

God tells His story in so many ways. We’ve got the whole Bible; and we’ve got His Spirit; and we’ve got past and present circumstances.

In the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve sin, and are cast out of the Garden of Eden. Also, they are prevented from eating from the Tree of Life (a blessing, so that we are not condemned to living in sin forever).

In Genesis 46, God appears at night, in a vision, to Jacob/Israel. He tells Israel not to fear to go down into Egypt, for God will go with Him; and that HE WILL BRING HIM BACK AGAIN.

Because Egypt is often given as a symbol of sin, I see this as a picture of the human race entering the sinful world. BUT, we are promised that God will go with us. And He is! God is with us in so many ways: Bible, Spirit, circumstances, each other…

Then, in Exodus, God leads them physically out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. I see this as a picture of our salvation. The Israelites were in bondage, and could not save themselves. God brought them out. Once in the Promised Land, the Israelites had to fight for their Promised Land, just as we must fight the spiritual battles raging all around us. I think of Philippians 2.12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; we must, once God has gifted us with salvation, work out that salvation by reading His Word and obeying His Truth.

In Exodus 12.11, God gives Moses and Aaron specific instructions on how to eat the Passover: And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S Passover.

And verse 15: even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

Having recently read Matthew 24, (you can read it here) I couldn’t help but draw comparisons:

  • God’s people were to search for and clean out any leaven from their homes. Leaven symbolizes sin. We are to clean our lives of sin by confessing and repenting.
  • They were to be ready: loins girded, shoes on their feet. The Lord would call for them at any moment! We are to be ready for the Lord’s return at any time. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24.16-20: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day
    • Be ready for the Lord always. He is with us right now, always; but He is coming again to take us home.

The Israelites were going to the Promised Land. So Jesus will take us to His promise: His Heavenly home to live with Him forever. Our final trip will be unlike the Israelites’ arduous journey, filled with complaining and dangers. We will rush to meet Him in the air (Genesis 46.3, and I will also surely bring thee up again and John 14.2, 3 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.), joyous and finally, finally, fulfilled with perfect peace.

Eliab and the Wilderness Lessons

“We’re never going to get there, anyway.” Amminadab spit on the ground and looked Ahiezer in the eye. “I wander around for forty years, or go where I want to go. I’m my own man, and I’ll do what I like.”

Ten-year-old Eliab looked at the two men, squatting by the tents. He waited for his father to answer.

“We’ve kept safe and healthy so far,” Ahiezer said firmly. “I think as long as we listen to Moses, we’ll do alright.”

“Ach!” Amminadab spit again. “You listen to Moses, you die in the desert! He said so! None of us in this generation will see the Promised Land. Why die? Come with me and my family. There is a small group of us going back to Egypt. At least there we had a house and a garden. We ate the leeks and garlic, the figs and the pomegranates – we could live off the fat of that land, instead of this manna every day.”

Ahiezer rocked on his heels. “I hear of other men gathering a group to try to go into the land beyond Jordan, to try again, on their own, to go in and settle there. They want the Promised Land on their own terms.”

Amminadab waved him off. “No. We tried that when we were there the first time. Yah set it up so that they died trying. He would do that again.”

“So,” Ahiezer stroked his chin. “You believe some of Yah’s promises, but not all of them?”

“Oh, bah! I’ll do what I want, you do what you want. I only thought I’d give you a chance at a better life. You want it, you take it. You don’t want it, you stay here. It is nothing to me.” Amminadab struggled to his feet, straightened his robe, and walked away.

Ahiezer looked at his son. “So, Eliab, what do you think of all this?”

Eliab went to squat in Amminadab’s place. “Will I get to see the Promised Land, Abba?”

“You will. It was my generation who were the unbelievers. I don’t know why we were so stiff-necked.” Ahiezer shook his head. “You were only three when we left Egypt. You were too little to remember the hard life we had, the struggles, the terrifying miracles Yah worked to set us free.”

Eliab traced the scars along his father’s arm. “But I am old enough now to remember the stories of how you got these scars, and the ones on your back. And I remember the stories of the locusts, the boils, the darkness, and the death.”

Ahiezer laid his hand on top of Eliab’s head. “And how we put the lamb’s blood on our doorstops, and the Angel of Death passed over us. We did not lose you, my son, my firstborn.”

Eliab jumped up. “And the Red Sea! We walked through the Red Sea on dry ground, and LORD God Almighty swallowed up Pharaoh and his army dead.” He swished his arm so hard, he twirled around.

Ahiezer smiled. “Yes, you know. You must remember. When you grow up, you must tell your children and your grandchildren all of this.”

Eliab wandered over to his home, their tent. His mother was inside, as always, cleaning or preparing food, watching the younger ones, or putting things away. He greeted her. “Hello, my em. Is it almost eating time? I’m hungry.”

“You are always hungry. You are growing so fast!” Em smiled and handed him a robe. Here, it is your sister’s. Please put it away for me.”

Eliab brought the robe to another, far corner of the tent and lifted some things. He jumped back. What was this little golden thing? He picked it up. It was in the shape of a bull, very finely made. Eliab knew right away that this was an idol, forbidden by Elohim. Why had his mother kept it here? Where did it come from? Had her friend made it? Was it one of the golden baubles the Egyptian women had pushed at the Israelites as they fled? Again, why would his mother have such a blasphemous thing in their home?

He put the object back just as he found it, and covered it, just as it was. Did Abba know about this? Should he say anything?

*           *           *           *           *

Eliab stood straight and tall, shoulder-to-shoulder with his kin and his Israelite brothers, before Moses. The forty years of wilderness, training, chastening, and sharpening had passed; and it was time to enter the Promised Land.

Moses was old now, and ready to give his final admonitions to his beloved people. He would soon go home to sleep with his fathers and be with his cherished Jehovah. Eliab knew Joshua would be their new leader, and that he was faithful and true. But Moses loved them with his whole being, and had led them through so much. He had always been there for them all. It was time for everything to change.

Eliab looked around him, at the sea of men. Far behind him, he spotted his wife, Milcah, with their three little ones among the other women and children. Ahead of him, rows and rows of men, and Moses before them. They were more in number than ever, even though the older generation had all died.

Some had died in the desert, refusing the simple act of healing by only looking upon the fiery bronze snake that Moses made. God had sent those snakes when everyone spoke against Him and complained against the manna. Eliab himself had been bitten; he went immediately to look upon the fiery bronze snake that God commanded Moses to make, for healing. Eliab was saved by looking upon it; the pain and sickness left him immediately – it was a miracle! Then he remembered his own Em, so sick from the bite. Eliab had begged her to look upon the fiery bronze snake and be healed, as he had, just as God had promised: so many had already been healed! But, after Abba died, Em had clutched even more tightly to her little golden calf. Sick and dying, she had whispered to it. Of course, it could not save her.

Some had died in battle. Eliab dropped his head in shame as he remembered how the Moabite women had seduced the men of Israel, how they had bowed down to their gods; many had died then.

He thought of Amminadab, so many years ago, and wondered whatever happened to him and the others who had gone off to seek their own futures. Eliab looked up. He was glad he’d stayed with his people. This was where Yah had put him, and He had great plans for His people. Moses said so.

He and his brothers-in-arms, tens of thousands of them, had been in training since their youth. They were armed, they knew how to use their weapons, they were strong and virile, and they were with Jehovah, under His protection and guidance. They were trained not only in fighting, but also in The Law. They knew how to trust their El Shaddai. Had not his own brother been captured by the Canaanites; and had not all the Israelites vowed a vow unto the LORD? The LORD God had delivered up the Canaanites, and the Israelites utterly destroyed them and their cities at Hormah; they rescued their fellow Israelites.

Eliab and his brothers fought against Sihon king of the Amorites, taking all the cities from Arnon unto Jabbok. Eliab was there, sword in hand, with his people, to the battle at Edrei, against Og, king of Bashan. Moses heard from God, Himself, “Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.” El Shaddai fought for them. And they smote them, and all those people until there was none left alive, and they possessed his land.

Yah’s chosen people had made great spoil in the many battles, especially the battle against the Midianites. They would enter the Promised Land a rich nation; Yah Yireh (The LORD will Provide) had been very good to them.

Eliab turned away from his thoughts as he noticed the crowd silencing. Moses was going to speak. Eliab quieted his mind, and prayed Elohim Shama (God Who Hears) to give him ears to hear.

Moses began: “The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:  Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.  Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.”

Eliab well remembered the stories of this journey, told around many a meal, told by the elders, told by his own abba, most of which he had experienced, himself. He remembered shaking in his sandals at the sight of Moses, shining so bright he could not be looked upon. Even his Abba and his Em shook with him at the fire on the mount at Horeb.

Moses continued: “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.  Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.  For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?  And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.”

“El Shaddai!” Eliab almost physically fell to his knees with his thoughts. “Look what You have done for us! Look Who You are to us! You are our Wisdom; You are our Understanding! You have set us high above all other nations! Blessed be Your Most High name!”

And Moses continued with these words: “Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee. For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger:  I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.”

Eliab’s knees gave out at that, and he fell on his face. “and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image!” The men around him helped him up and gave him water, thinking he was faint.

Moses spoke a few more words, and dismissed the people for that day. Eliab made haste to his tent, to his satchel of few belongings. There. He felt it. Em’s little golden calf. He had kept it as a memento of her, a small treasure to remember her. How foolish! Of course it had not saved her, and now he had in his hands a forbidden thing, forbidden by the LORD God Most High, a jealous God.

Eliab quickly stoked the fire, made it hot, and threw the golden calf into it. He watched as it melted, then turned to ash. He threw himself down with his face to the ground, as he had seen Moses and Aaron do so often. His family returned home and he stood. They all stared into the fire with him. His questioning eyes met those of his wife. Did she know? She smiled through her tears and nodded. Their hands met and squeezed.

Eliab scooped the ashes out of the fire and put them in a small gourd. Milcah poured in some water, and his children watched, mouths agape, as he drank the ashes.

“Eeew!” they cried. “Why do you drink that?” “What are you doing, Abba?” “Abba, no!”

As they sat together over their meal, Eliab told the story again of Moses on the mountain, of Aaron and the people and the golden calf. Of Moses and the Ten Commandments. His three little ones could recite the story, and all the commandments, and they spoke them together.

“My children,” Eliab explained, “we must always, in all our little ways, obey the LORD God Almighty. My mother treasured her little golden calf, and she died with it. I do not wish for us to die with it, as well. We will live! As Moses said today, God will bless us and give us long lives as we obey Him. I want a long life with you, and with my grandchildren.

“And now, I must find a lamb unspotted and perfect.” He called his eldest son to accompany him to the sacrifice. “We go forward with a clear conscience.”

The next day, Moses took up to continue. “For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?”

Eliab was glad his wife and children were there, listening. Moses’ words would mean more to them after last night.

As Moses recited the Ten Commandments, the voices of the thousands grew to a roar as they joined him. Eliab turned to look at his family. They were all but shouting the words in their joy. “I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth... …Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

The masses continued through all the LORD’s commandments. And then spoke Moses these words: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

Moses paused. The elders took up the chant first, and as more and more of the Israelites joined in, the very ground shook with their voices raised to Heaven: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might!

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might!

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might!!!”

Then Moses continued, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”

“Yes, El Shaddai, yes! We will do all You command us!” Eliab felt the tears streaming down his face.

Moses spoke of entering the Promised Land: “When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;  And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:  Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.  For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.  But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.  For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”

Eliab thought of his own sons.  They were young yet. Would they have conquered the Hittites and Canaanites and all Yah’s enemies, before his boys would be of age to fight? Would his children live in peace, or would they, too, have to fight against the enemy? He wanted his little ones to grow up and live in all the promises Yah had given them. He would teach them, as Moses commanded, to obey the LORD in all things, to not turn aside from Him in any matter. To make sure who they married, within the tribes of Israel. Then they would reap all Yah’s blessings.

Then he thought of the generation before him. They had sent the spies into the promised land, and they came back scared. There were giants in the land. What if, when Eliab went in with all his host, they came against the giants?

But then Moses. But then God: “If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them? Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt; The great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out: so shall the LORD thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid.”

Eliab was immensely comforted. Yah had seen them through everything. Had brought them through everything. As long as they trusted in Him, they had peace: if not peace with their enemies at least peace in their hearts because they knew He was with them, that He took exquisite care of them.

The people stood before Moses for a number of days, listening to his last words. Eliab wanted to commit every word to memory. He was grateful for the scribes and the Levites, who were given the responsibilities to record and keep all the laws.

Then Moses came to the blessings and curses. Eliab was overwhelmed with the many blessings Yah promised His people. He was so giving! So protective! But then Moses had a long discourse on the curses. Moses even told his people that they would receive these curses because he knew they would turn away from their God.

“Oh,” Eliab’s heart cried, “Adonai forbid! Do not let us ever turn away from You! Bind our hearts to You, that we may not want to go anywhere else. You are so good to us; may we ever want Your goodness.”

Eliab lay on his mat that night, eyes wide open, next to his wife. They were ready to go into the Promised Land. Joshua was their leader now; but it was Yahweh Nissi Who held them in the palm of His hand.

*           *           *           *           *

Abba (“daddy”)

Em (“mama”)

Yah (respectful abbreviation of Yahweh) (The LORD) Genesis 2.4

El Shaddai (God Almighty) Genesis 17.1

Yah Yireh (The Lord will Provide) Genesis 22.13, 14

Elohim Shama (God Who Hears) Exodus 2.24

Qedosh Yisrael: (The Holy One of Israel) Leviticus 19.1

Adonai (Lord) Deut 6.4

Yahweh Nissi  (The LORD My Banner) Exodus 17.15-16

Lessons from Exodus

LessonsFromExodus

God gives us so much in His Word! Salvation, teaching, edification, He gives it to us “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3.16, 17).

I believe God gives us a picture of the story of His salvation in the book of Exodus. There are parallels and lessons to be drawn, important for us to know in our walk with Him. This is why the Exodus story is re-told throughout the Bible (Psalms, Acts, etc.): it’s important! God has a lesson for us, a message.

I’m pretty sure a whole book or books could be written on the subject, but here is a short list of lessons from Exodus:

    • God chose His people Israel. There was nothing in them that they did or performed or thought that made them special to God among other people. He simply chose them out of the world to symbolize His love and grace; and to be a light for Him in the world to others. Abraham was their father; Jacob (later named Israel) was the patriarch of the twelve tribes.

     

    • Egypt symbolizes sin / the life of sin / our darkness / death / that which is not of God.

     

    • God placed Joseph in Egypt before the family of Israel moved there; Joseph was there to save them. God already had a plan in place for His people.

     

    • Egypt looked pretty good to the Israelites when they first got there. It was a land of plenty (because God had placed Joseph there to provide). They were free to come and go and conduct their business. They were given a special place to call their own when they moved there, Goshen, separate from the Egyptians.

     

    • The Pharaoh who knew the Israelites died, and a new Pharaoh came in. Just like that, Satan and evil can change from looking good to showing his true colors.

     

    • The Egyptians slowly enslaved the Israelites. The Israelites could have moved away prior to their complete enslavement, but life was good, this was their home, and they stayed. They didn’t see what was coming. God gave us another picture of this in the Holocaust: people could not imagine the evil that was coming, this was their home, and they stayed.

     

    • Sin entices us to stay by looking good and/or comfortable. We are slaves to it by the time its true nature is revealed.

     

    • Pharaoh symbolizes worship of false gods. In Egypt, Pharaoh was considered a god. The people looked to him for sunshine or rain or providence, and believed he provided for them. The Israelites, while they lived in Egypt, were drawn to this false worship. They had the stories handed down to them of their fathers, of God and His provision and care; but after 400 years of living in Egypt and of being slaves, they were in complete bondage. Although they believed lies, they still knew the God of their fathers (the midwives feared God, in Exodus 1; in Exodus 2.23, “the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage,” the Word does not specifically say they cried out to God, but He heard them; at the Red sea, in Exodus 14.10, “the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD”).

     

    • God created Moses. Pharaoh’s daughter was kind, and took Moses in. Sometimes the world looks kind and takes care of us. We must see the world for what it is, and obey God in it.

     

    • God called His people out of Egypt. There was no way the Israelites could save themselves. God provided the only way out, and it was miraculous. No one else could have saved the Israelites. The Israelites were God’s chosen people.

     

    • Only the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of the Israelites saved the firstborn from death. Only the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus, saves us from death.

     

    • God made the Israelites a stench in the nostrils of the Egyptians. The Egyptians shoved the Israelites out, and gave the Israelites spoils to send them on their way. God’s people are often a stench in the nostrils of the world.

     

    • The Egyptians and Pharaoh wanted the Israelites back after they’d gone. Often, the Israelites wanted Egypt back after they’d gone (“And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt“). Both Egypt and Israel wanted life to go back to the way it was before. The Israelites were in bondage, but at least they knew what to expect in their everyday lives before God started interfering.

     

    • God led Israel out of Egypt in a miraculous way. It could only be via a miracle that they were saved. The Israelites had only to obey God, and follow Him, and He saved them. Even when they did not obey Him, He still saved them: they were His chosen people.

     

    • Moses was a man of God. He stood between God and His people as a beacon, a prayer warrior, a leader, an example, and a governor. God still uses His people in such ways.

     

    • God provided a pillar of light in the darkness and a pillar of cloud in the day, to guide and protect His people. He still provides His Light and Protection in our lives through His Word, and His presence in His Holy Spirit.

     

    • When Pharaoh chased after them with his army, God had His children in a spot where no visible way of escape presented itself. God protected His children with the pillar of fire; He also protected them by allowing no other way of escape. He needed them to know that HE was their salvation, He and no other. When the children of Israel thought there was no way, God made a way; a way no one could think of or invent. God is our only way of escape; we need to look to Him, not anywhere else or to ourselves.

     

    • After the Israelites crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, God allowed them to witness His destruction of Pharaoh and his army. After God saves us, He will allow us to witness His destruction of our enemy: sometimes in this world, but surely at the end of the world when Christ returns. (Note: God destroys the enemy; we have no power to do so.)

     

    • Even after miracles of God’s provision in the desert, the Israelites still complained and turned away from Him. They wanted to depend on other gods.

     

    • In our lives, we all have times in the desert: times of wandering, of wondering where God is, of doubting, of hardships and pain and terror.

     

    • While still in the desert (after He had called them out and saved them from death), God gave His children commandments, rules to follow, ways to behave, and strict mandates on how to worship Him. Why? Because they needed it! They had no idea of how to live righteously, how to live in a healthy manner, how to live in harmony with their brethren, or how to worship God (no idea of His holiness). If they didn’t have rules, they would make their own (as they often did, anyway), and disaster would follow. With rules and commandments, the Israelites had a blueprint, an outline of what a holy life looks like. They would know when they obeyed it, and they would know what disobedience looked like.

     

    • The Israelites feared greatly, and many of them never did depend on God. They said, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?” Yes, for some, God did take them into the wilderness to die. Better for God’s people to die in the wilderness than to die in sin. When they refused to enter the Promised Land because of fear and doubt (and refusing to follow God), God put them back into the wilderness until that generation had died, and a new generation grew up in the fear of the Lord. God knows the end of our days, and how we will respond to Him. He knows when it is better that He take us out of the world.

     

    • God fed them every single day with manna. He always provided water, even in a dry and thirsty land. He still feeds us every single day, and provides Living Water.

     

    • After their wanderings, God led His people to the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. This is what a saved life looks like. This new generation was fit for the Lord’s work. They had been toughened in their wilderness journeys, they were brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord’s commands, they had not only heard the stories of God’s miracles from their parents, but had witnessed God’s miraculous provisions themselves, each day. Deuteronomy 29.2-6 And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God.

     

    • God’s children were not led to Canaan to sit back and receive everything. No; they had to fight battles, they had to defend against the enemy, they had to work to provide food, they had to be on the lookout always. They had to keep their eyes on God, and remember where they had been, and what God had done.

     

    • In the Promised Land, the Israelites had God’s testament and commands to follow. Moses had written everything down, had taught it to the people, and had taught it to Joshua. God’s people started out well. But, just as we all do, they fell away.

     

    • The Israelites devastated their Promised Land, just as we have devastated ours. No, not every single child of God forgot Him (God always has a remnant), but as a people, they turned away from Him and invented their own ways and glorified themselves.

     

    • And God judged them. Just as He judges us. He allows and intervenes and provides situations and circumstances and people so that we will look to Him, love Him, follow Him. He still calls to us.