Chapter 6 of The Story documents why the Israelites have to wander for 40 years in the wilderness, and it also shows what happens to them during this time. There is much that is covered in these 18 pages.
We learn about the depth of God’s covenant promise to this chosen people and how much it pains God when his people rebel. He does absolutely everything for them! “Don’t you remember what I did for you to get you out of Egypt?” He gives them food. He gives them water. He leads them. And all they can do is grumble.
The majority of the spies sent in to check out the promised land become fearful. “The enemy is much too big. We’re all going to die and our children and wives will be taken as plunder!” It goes on and on. Eventually, many are even swayed by the seduction of sexual attraction with women who worship other gods. This absolutely breaks God’s heart and it infuriates him so much. “Why can’t they just listen to my word and trust in me,” he must be thinking.
It goes on and on. Eventually, Moses lashes out as well in response to the people and doesn’t listen to God’s Word. He strikes a rock with his staff instead of simply speaking to it. And this, seemingly small sin, forces God to keep Moses and Aaron from ever seeing the promised land.
Yet God will still deliver on his covenant promise. It won’t be because these people are righteous. It will be because He is the God who delivers on his promise. This is good news for us. God delivers on his promise to forgive and love us eternally; not because we’re righteous, but because he is committed to his promise. God made a new covenant with us through the blood of his son Jesus. This covenant is eternal. God will see you through! You are loved now and for all eternity!
As you read chapter 6, here are a couple things to ponder.
1) What are you grumbling about today? Is it the same thing as yesterday? What if, instead of grumbling, you looked around and noticed how God is providing for you?
2) What is before you that you are afraid of? Is it a new job? A new relationship? A new diagnosis? Just like the Israelites, the newness in front of us often elicits fear. After reading this chapter of The Story, do you believe God is with you as you move forward?
3) Do you ever try to wander away from God’s presence by pursuing answers to life’s questions in other places? Is there anything you need to change in your daily behavior to grow closer in relationship with God and trust in his provisions alone?
Watch this week’s sermon: