Read Deuteronomy 2:1-37
(At the end of this post, you will find a link to the “One” prayer requests Pastor Nick mentioned yesterday!)
As Moses recounted some of the major events of the forty years of wandering, there were details he omitted. Although he pointed to Israel’s lack of faith in the first chapter, this second chapter does not reflect negatively on the people of God. There is no mention of disobedience, strife, or complaining. And yet, those elements were there . . . forty years’ worth.
How could they not have been part of the actual experience?
I am not particularly proud of my last sentence. By it, I reflect the seemingly logical human thought that, given enough time and adversity, tension and complaining can be expected . . . maybe even justified. I convey a bit of a “Duh” mentality. By that, I mean “of course they disobeyed, experienced strife, and complained.”
But rather than posing that question from a “Duh, of course . . . ” standpoint, let me ask it again from an honest, answer-seeking perspective. How could they have eliminated the disobedience, strife, and complaints from those forty years of wandering?
For that matter, how can you and I steer clear of an entitlement mindset that allows or justifies a bad attitude?
- Recognize that some of your adversity may be the consequences of your prior choices. There is the law of the harvest that says “you reap what you sow.” Certainly, the Israelites were harvesting the fruit of their past.
- Acknowledge that you live in a fallen world. Whether the people “deserved” all that they experienced or not, they lived in a world where it was not sunshine and roses every day. You live in that same world.
- Remember that even the wandering leads somewhere. God was leading them along a circuitous route to be sure. But that route led them to the Promised Land. Similarly, there is divine purpose in the challenges you face.
- Be careful not to compare experiences. God led them right through lands possessed by their distant relatives Lot and Esau. It would be easy to question why these people were settled into their lands while the Israelites still journeyed. Resist the temptation to compare, because God has a different plan for each of us.
These are but a few thoughts that might help you through periods of seemingly useless wandering. But God is good!
Hey! In addition, make sure you pray for the five prayer requests Pastor Nick mentioned in the sermon yesterday. Click to access the Prayer Requests!