4They left Mt. Hor by way of the Red Sea so as to go around the land of Edom. Â The people got discouraged because of the route. Â 5And the people spoke against God and against Moses. Â They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to die in the desert. Â There’s no food and there’s no water! Â We’re completely tired of this lousy bread. Â — Numbers 21:4-5
[This is Henry.]
Did you ever ask you parents for help with your homework when you were younger? Â How did it go? Â My parents were both teachers part of their careers. Â What I wanted in terms of help was the answer. Â What they would provide was some suggestions on how to find the answer. Â It seemed like such a long way around when I knew that they knew precisely what the answer was.
The Israelites may have felt that way as well. Â They wanted to get out of slavery. Â Now their idea of the way that should go was that God would take care of the Egyptians and then clear a path for them to wander casually into the land of Canaan and take possession.
It must have been a bit disappointing. Â If God had promised it, and God was going to give it, just what was all this running around the desert all about.
So they get to the point of complaining. Â “God, why did you bring us out of Egypt? Â We may have had to work day and night, we may have been beaten from time to time, but we had enough to eat and a reasonable life expectancy. Â Here we might die any time, and it’s not a pleasant death.”
What about Jesus? Â He is baptized and then driven out into the desert. Â “Jesus! Â You’re my Son. Â I’m pleased with you. Â Now go starve for 40 days and let the devil try to beat you up.”
Does your life ever feel like that? Â Do you ask God to get you out of the frying pan only to see the fire all around you?
I have good news and bad news: Â We are interested in comfort, but God is interested in character.
Just like the Israelites as they left Egypt, each one of us has a lot to learn and a lot of character to develop.
We have a simple choice. Â Will we remember why we wanted to get out of Egypt, or will we find the discomfort of character development just too hard to take? Â Will we ask to go back?
The promised land is for those who keep going forward.
37“Yet in a very little while, the one who is coming will come and will not delay.Â 38But my righteous one will live by faith,
and if he shrinks back, Â my soul will have no pleasure in him.” [Habakkuk 2:3,4]Â 39But we are not of timidity leading to destruction, but of faith, leading to obtaining life. Â — Hebrews 10:37-39