In the Old Testament of the Bible, there were 12 spies sent to scout out the promised land. 10 returned with a can’t-do spirit. 2 returned with a can-do spirit. Upon conference with the witnesses, the can’t-do spirit took root. The 12 tribes of Israel decided it was more advantageous to return to Egypt than take the risk of entering the promised land. They failed to remember the God of their salvation that had carried them through the journey and never left them. The people decided to turn away from God their provider and protector.
Instead, the people planned, prepared and set out to return to Egypt, their land of bondage. The leader, Moses, tired of the stiff-necked, hard-hearted people lost his cool and was conjoined in the punishment for disobedience. The people were corralled in a circle and consigned to walk the wilderness land for 40 years until everyone over 40 years of age on that date had died.
The first thing that spoke to my heart was Joshua and Caleb, the two spies who believed in the promise might have been under the age of 40, at the time because they were not consigned to die. The second thing, what was going on while Joshua and Caleb were waiting for death to make its harvest in the tribes of Israel? The two who believed were relegated to the walk also. But what were they doing while they waited?
Wilderness times are to make or break us. There can be death in the wilderness, but without regeneration and new birth there is also extinction in the wilderness. God never consigned all the people to die without any future. God’s plan was still real and there was a portion that promised a brighter day.
What were Joshua and Caleb doing while in the wilderness? They could have become disheartened, walking by the promised land, seeing the grapes, almost able to taste the milk and honey. After all, they had entered in. They had seen the enemy and not been afraid. They had tasted the fruits and drank the milk. They knew what they heard was real. And yet, they were cosigned to walk with the living dead who would never enter in.
While you walk in the group of the living dead consigned to the wilderness, what is your attitude? Do you lose heart, or do you prepare for the day you will enter the promised land? I surmise Joshua and Caleb encouraged one another. I believe they prepared to enter in. Spending long hours in the tent at night strategizing how they will win the battles against the enemies. They thought upon how enjoyable their times will be. I believe they continued to prepare for battle, working out, eating right and staying prayerful.
I also believed during the day, they buried those that needed to be buried and mourned their loss. I believe they celebrated the births of the new millenniums. For these are the ones who would enter the land and take what had been promised to them. I believe they taught the lessons of the all mighty God, teaching the new people to respect honor and obey God.
I believe those newly born were trained mentally, physically and morally to be prepared for the day they could enter in. Joshua and Caleb did not lose heart nor join the naysayers. They looked to the hills which cometh their help. They continued to seek the Lord and mighty God, who is the creator of heaven and earth and never sleeps nor slumbers.
It is good to take notice; we know now the trek took 40 years. But at the beginning of the story, no one knew it would take 40 years. As Martin Luther King, Jr. has been quoted, “how long must we wait?” This was a journey of indeterminate timing which required faith and stamina to complete.
Everyone consigned to the wilderness experience is not there because of unbelief, a punishment for disobedience or a lack of faith. Sometimes we are there to prepare. What is your attitude while you circle in the wilderness? Have you come to die? Have you come to prepare for greatness? Is your heart changed because you feel God is taking too long? How long is too long to wait for that thing you seek. Have you decided to settle?
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