Why did you turn back to wilderness?
I've been feeling alone lately like God has left me to my own devices. It makes since, I have felt God telling me to do something, but I keep allowing fear to stop me. So here I am and I'm wondering why am I allowing fear to turn me back into the wilderness?
What do I mean, well if you remember the Israelites, you probably remember that God had promised them land, and he lead them to it. But they allowed fear to cause them to turn into the wilderness. Let's look at this story, as Moses is retelling it, and see what we can learn.
"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." - Deuteronomy 1:8 NIV
See God is a promise keeper. He promised Abraham this good land and that his descendants would outnumber the stars in the sky. The Israelites were so large in number that Moses couldn't bear to be the leader / shepherd along anymore. Also after freeing the Israelites from Egypt, God fought battle after battle for them. It was finally time for the Israelites to take possession of the promised land.
Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged. And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe: And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the Lord our God doth give us. - Deuteronomy 1:21-25 NIV
God told the Israelites not to fear, or be discourage. God had protected and provided for them before, he would do it again. The idea of sending in men to spy on the land didn't seem like a bad idea, it didn't seem like it would or could lead to a lack of faith or discouragement.
But it would...
26 But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. 27 You grumbled in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’” - Deuteronomy 1:26-28 NIV
Matthew Henry says.
...How absurd was it for them to send men to spy out a land which God himself had spied out for them to enquire the way into it when God himself had undertaken to show them the way! But thus we ruin ourselves by giving more credit to the reports and representations of sense than to the divine revelation; we walk by sight not by faith; whereas, if we will receive the witness of men, without doubt, the witness of God is greater.
I've been there. I've felt God leading me, got a little concerned that the decision to move was my own so I asked those around me their opinions. To quote Matthew Henry, "How Absurd". Talking to them made me feel even more fearful that I wasn't following God at all, but my own desire. So I backed off, again, and again. I prayed that if God really was leading me he would give me people in my life to affirm that decision. He has, but I it is to late, I have already headed back into the wilderness.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation? Did you have faith or fear? Telling me about it, and how you overcame your fear.
I know this isn't the end of the story for the Israelites or for me. So come back next week to check out the faith of Caleb.