As we looked at the wandering Israelites on Sunday morning, we found them looking more at the problems in front of them rather than the promise that God would deliver them into the land flowing with milk and honey! They saw the problem before the promise.
Each of us have been on a car trip at some time in our lives. And if you have kids, on that journey the inevitable occurs – ‘are we there yet?’ And the questions begin. And they sort with the questions of how long will it take, to questions of why do cows chew all the time – regardless of whether they seem to be eating something or not? Every journey holds questions – you come to expect them from the back seat! However our faith journey is also the same!
Lord, are we there yet? I’m tired and I don’t know which way i am meant to be going – can i just stop Lord? Why did I even start on this journey anyway? Sounds just like the Israelite nation doesn’t it? They take off towards the promised land and they start complaining 3 days into their journey! The food’s no good. Our leader is no good. The land you promised is too scary!
Grumbling does not sit well with God. In fact, our grumbling can lead to our wandering. When offered the chance to leave Kadesh and enter the Promised Land, the Israelites listened to the fear-filled report from ten spies instead of the faith-full report of Joshua and Caleb.
Kadesh means “Spring of Decision” and it was time for one. They were in the right place to make the right decision. But the majority made the wrong one. The people wished they had died in the desert. So God told them they would get their wish. They would wander until the unbelieving generation died out.
And they did. They wandered in the Wilderness for forty years. And their children were impacted by their decisions.
The decisions you make affect those around you, just like the decisions the Israelites made at Kadesh. You can decide to grumble or be thankful. You can decide to turn away from God or turn toward God. You can decide to wander without purpose through life or follow God’s vision for your life.
Just don’t forget that those in the backseat will be affected by your decisions.
Lets be people who look at the Promises God has for us – both as a church and individuals – rather than looking at the problems ahead of us.
Next week – we will see the other side – What happens when we see the promise and march head first towards it!