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Death March

Death March
So Close And Yet So Far

"If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.' Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them." Numbers 14:8-9 (NKJV)

Have you ever come close to possessing something, only to lose it?  It could be the victory in a baseball game as you were leading heading into the 9th inning.  Or perhaps it was an inheritance you were once slated to receive, and at the last minute your name was removed from the will, leaving you nothing.   Either way you didn't get to enjoy something once seemingly yours.  Such was the case of the Israelites as they were to inherit the Promised Land -  so close and yet so far.

Joshua and Caleb were two of twelve spies sent out to scout out the land, and they had come back with a favorable report; a great attitude, and a proper perspective, "Hey, if God delights in us, then He will brings us into this land and give it to us...only do not fear..."  Unfortunately, the people didn't care for what Joshua and Caleb had to say, and they wanted to pick up rocks and stone them.  

And all the congregation said to stone them with stones... Numbers 14:10 (NKJV)

This is a very sad story, but it is also one we should all pay close attention to if we are to receive the blessings God has for us.  God had given His people a promise of great value - they were to inherit so much land and wealth.  All He required was for them to walk in faith and to be obedient.  And yet many never realized this promise because of their doubt, fear, and stubborn rebellion.  Instead of receiving great blessings, they spent 40 years on a death march in the desert (Num. 14:28-34).  

Now, when I read this, I have to admit I am blown away at their foolish response.  And yet, if I am going to be totally honest, I really dont know if we are all that different.  Let me explain.  

God has told us He has plans for each of us as His Children, and we too have also been promised an amazing eternal future.  We have been given a responsibility to walk in faith and to be obedient just as they were.  We will also be facing great obstacles during our life here on earth - obstacles challenging our faith and trust.

Q:    So how can we find ourselves in the same predicament today as these Israelites faced back then?

It can happen when we doubt God's Word and the promises contained within it.  When we take our eyes off of God and put them back on the things we find challenging us or tempting us, our desires will change.  When this happens we will find ourselves in discomfort, dissatisfied and discontent in our situation or with the things challenging us.  

If we don't address this immediately we will soon begin to grumble about others or even God - "Lord, why are You doing this to me?  This isn't fair.  Why aren't You helping me?"  Eventually this develops into bitterness, resentment and finally open hostility.  

Hey Christian, let's not make the same mistake of openly defying God by trying to plan our own life.  Let's continue to follow Him - especially through the new changes and tough challenges we face as we continue forward in our Christian walk.  We have been delivered just as the Israelites were - let's not spend the rest of our life here on earth not experiencing all He has for us here - walking aimlessly in a death march because we chose not to submit and be obedient to His plan for our life.  

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways", says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts". Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)

STUDY QUESTION: According to Isaiah 55:8-9, what can we learn to encourage us when we find ourselves doubting our future?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are in you in agreement about God's ways being better than yours?

APPLICATION: Let's let God do the planning for our life and trust in His perfect provision.  He will open doors no man can close, and close doors no man can open (Rev. 3:7)

Father, thank You for Your abundant provision for all my needs.  Lord, I am sorry for the times I have doubted, grumbled, become bitter and eventually complained.  Help me to see things as You do.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000