Numbers 32:13 (New King James Version)
13 So the LORD’s anger was aroused against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was gone.
They were a complaining and often times contentious people, yet God had a special place for the Israelites. He had made a promise many generations before that He would give them a land that would be exclusively theirs, reserved for God's chosen people. Moses had led them out of bondage and slavery, and after they miraculously crossed the Red Sea, in to the Sinai Desert.
Normally the trip from Egypt to what is now Israel, would have only taken two or three months, at a slow pace with families and livestock, but because of the sin, unbelief and lack of trust of the people, they turned it into a 40 year experience. They fought the leadership of Moses at every turn, and no matter how God demonstrated His power to them, they still chose their own way instead of God's. The people were not ready to receive the gift of the land God had promised them, and they would not be able to "taste" God's goodness until those who sinned against God were purged from their midst.
Have you spent much time wandering in your personal desert? Has your life led you through many "desert" experiences, trials and troubles that seemingly never end? Has it been because of your sin, unbelief and lack of trust in God? Have you oftentimes chosen your own way even when God has demonstrated HIs power to you? God will let you wander through the "desert" of life until your heart has been changed and you are prepared to receive His free gift His of grace and mercy.
Thanks to Jesus Christ's work on the cross, you can leave the desert and "taste" God's goodness in the "promised land". What it will take is for you to admit and confess your sin, change the unbelieving and sinful attitude of your heart, and surrender yourself to His leadership in faith.
If you have not done so yet in the New Year, now is the time to follow God's leading out of the desert.
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