And the space in which we came from Kadesh-barnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the Lord sware unto them. For indeed the hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed. So it came to pass, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people, that the Lord spake unto me, saying,Thou art to pass over through Ar, the coast of Moab, this day: (Deuteronomy 2:14-18)
Over a period of 400 years, the children of Israel were held captive and forced into a life of hard labour by the Egyptian Pharaoh’s. This didn’t take God by surprise however. He had told Abraham of this exact situation centuries earlier (Genesis 15:13). After which God intervened, and miraculously provided a way for them to escape from the bondage in order to make their way to the promised land.
Once Israel had made their way across the Red Sea and to this land that was promised by God, all that was required of them was to go in and posses it.
Israel decided to first examine the land, and send 12 spies for a reconnaissance mission. 10 of them decided that they couldn’t do it. (Lesson learned… Do not necessarily go by the popular opinion.) So instead of believing God they chose to disobey Him. Only 2 of the 12 understood that God said; He would provide a way through the danger that would come their way.
The others considered how they might deliver themselves from the enemy. The fruit of which was that their fear of the Canaanites superseded their faith in God’s ability to deliver them. They in essence said; Not your will be done LORD, but mine be done. And because of their lack of faith in God, they were set to wander in the dessert until every last one of the nay sayers died. The moment the last stiff-necked person died, God told the remainder to enter into the promised land.
This story is a picture of the salvation that Jesus offers to everyone. He has given us an inheritance of everlasting life. He has destroyed the enemy; sin and death, and now he tells us to take it by faith…
So the question is… Are you willing to follow Him by faith, or are you going to be a stiff necked person saying: God, I know your word says that Salvation is by grace through faith in you and your finished work. You also say that I don’t have to earn it, because it’s a free gift. But God, I want to choose how it’s done, and I’ll do it when I’m good and ready!