40 Years in the Desert, Why?
God refers to the Israelites as “stiff necked”, but that could be said of all of us at any given point in our life journey as we decide as did our parents Adam and Eve that we know better than the Holy Trinity, our wisdom is greater than biblical wisdom. People will think it awful that God let them wander for such a long time, but did he really? Was it God that was the problem? There are a few things that one notices in the Book of Numbers and even in Christ with his interactions with the apostles. Rebellion, a big thing with us humans, whether it’s with God, with authority in general, even our human parents when we are teens, young adults, that sense of defiance, that our 16 or 18 years of life makes us so much wiser than someone with 40 or 50, 60 years of life, wiser than the creator of all things. The Israelites through Moses were given the game plan, he asked the Lord what it was, but nah, they kind of decided, screw that God, we prefer to go with our game plan, well okey dokey, yeah, worked out real well, not. Then, even when they defy etc…, God still shows mercy, and what do they do, complain, worship idols etc…, for those who try to make Jesus out to be some Love Guru, no he had little patience with his disciples and crowds, their rebellion, nonsense often, made it clear, I am the only ticket to heaven, he wasn’t big on sharing the ticket to the final destination. God could have just destroyed them all, but he has mercy and has them wander until the older generation, the stiff necked and rebel generation dies out. What of Moses, why not let Moses enter the promised land? His disobedience, he chose the people over obedience to God. They could have had a straight line into the land promised them, and Moses could have entered the land, but that same problem that got us thrown out at Eden, we see coming up over and over throughout scripture, and it brings to mind the song “My Way”, which is often the human motto.
We all I think have our own 40 years in the desert, I’ve had it, and am coming out of it, but it’s not easy coming out of such a journey. I lost a lot of time and I am not playing catch up in terms of my vocational path and in different ways. My well being was hit hard by my rebellion, not seeking to understand effectively what God meant by ministry, when he put that in my heart. I am realizing that though He did put music and ministry in my heart, I still have to make the journey of connecting to Father, Son, Holy Spirit, having the help of the heavens to discern what that means, what the right path to that is. If I try to do it stiff necked my way I will have a lifetime in the desert. That is not a fun picture.
Shalom and Amen