Why a Generation Saw God's Wonders but Not His Promise

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God's people saw His wonders but didn't go into the Promised Land. (Charisma archives)

I've been doing a study on the book of Hebrews, not an easy study, but very good. This week I was asked to read about the Israelites, particularly the part where they are complaining. That is a big part of their history. And mine. I know that I have compared myself to the Israelites before ... I'm a grumbler just like them, dang it.

Did you ever think about the fact that the Israelites who had to wander in the wilderness because of their unwillingness to trust God were the generation who had witnessed all of the signs and wonders of God?  That hit me this week.

Those people had lived through the plagues of Egypt. They witnessed God changing the hearts of the Egyptians so much so that they gave them jewelry and animals and stuff to take on their journey. They followed the pillar of smoke during the day and been comforted by the pillar of fire at night, they'd walked through a wall of water, they'd eaten manna, feasted on quail and seen water come from a rock. Good grief!  It seems like even one of those signs or wonders would be enough to convince someone to follow God forever.

And yet, they struggled. They weren't worse people than us. In fact, they were very much like we are now.

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Lord, give me a sign. Lord, this is too hard. Lord, I know you promised, but I'd sure like it now. Lord, that Promised Land looks scary. Lord, are you sure? Lord, this way looks so much better, easier, nicer, fun ... Lord, do you mind if I just do my own thing this one time? Lord?

In my life, I really wish that things had already changed, that things had gotten better by now—better in my terms.

This place that I am in, I wonder; is this my Egypt? My wilderness? Or is it my walk into the Promised Land?

I don't believe it is my Egypt. I'm no longer a slave. Jesus made sure of that.

Is it my wilderness? I guess I have to evaluate my life and my walk with the Lord. Have I missed milk and honey for caffeine and sugar?  (I'm pretty much living on caffeine and sugar.)

I don't think I'm in a wilderness. I think I'm where God wants me. Oh gosh, I hope so.

Am I walking to the Promised Land?  I believe I am on that journey. Maybe it's not the journey to a promised land here on earth, maybe it's the Promised Land.

But maybe trying to match my walk with the Israelites isn't exactly the walk I should be trying to match. There are other stories, other people with unique walks.

Maybe my story is gonna be more like Joseph—lots of hard stuff before the great reveal.

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