Are you in a Wilderness?

Hebrews 8:8-10    Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them”, says the Lord.  “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the Lord:  “I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 

Hebrews 10:16    “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.

Jeremiah 31:33    “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people

Isaiah 59: 21     “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them; My Spirit who is upon, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.”


When the Israelites first were led out of Egypt, they grumbled and complained, wished for the certainty of what they had known even though the conditions they had lived under were not wonderful, they knew what those were, and were getting frightened for what they could not see… they could not see where they were going, they feared the travel and the unknown.   And how like us.  It is easier for us to reach for what we do know, even if we grumbled about not having enough—’we knew what we had and it was familiar—albeit safe.’  Sound familiar?

While in Egypt, the Israelites witnessed the miracles of the plagues God sent on Pharaoh and the Egyptians.  There were very few Israelites who suffered the boils that the Egyptians suffered.  Most were free or about protected from any of these plagues. They saw this.  They saw how they were protected from the loss of their firstborns–animals as well as children.  The Israelite slaves were protected from these punishments. 

They were told to sprinkle blood over their doorpost with hyssop, kill a perfect lamb and feed as many as they could with the lamb killed—leaving nothing behind, and to stay in their homes while death raged over the Egyptians, and all homes which did not have the mark of the lamb’s blood–and then heard the crying, wailing, and utter bereavement of the Egyptians who had lost their firstborn.  They had witnessed miracles.

God through Moses led them all, a few million people into the desert, away from Egypt, and then lifted the sides of the Red Sea so they could ALL traverse across the expanse, away from the Egyptians who had now decided to pursue, and they all made it to the other side.  Remember several MILLION persons—young and old, and how many animals?  I can not fathom seeing that many people at one time, never mind trying to see all of them hustle across a river with its sides held up as a wall of water on each side to allow them all to pass.  THESE WERE BIG MIRACLES, AWESOME, SAVING MIRACLES!

I wonder what God was doing to stall the Egyptians further so they could not overtake them—they had chariots and horses and were now in hot pursuit, and only a few days had passed—yet, again God defeated them.  He stalled their progress long enough for all Israelites to travel across the dry Red Sea (not a pond or creek—a Sea!), and reach the other side.  And then He turned the Egyptians into the amazing wall of water—‘oh, yes! How awesome, let us scramble across and we will have them!  We will capture them and bring them all back!  And probably kill Moses and his sound piece while we capture them.’   Ah, not so, says God.  And He turned the walls of water upon them, killing all.

The Israelites were leaving what they knew, unsure of where they were going, but they DID know why—their grumbling had been answered, and He had sent a leader to lead them from Egypt—and they were being fed, saved from the Egyptian army when Pharaoh had a change of heart, they were intact as a HUGE group of people and livestock.   And yet they grumbled and doubted and feared.

God appeared to them in a cloud by day and a fire by night.  He was present!  Always!  He supplied food, water, safety, guidance, and leadership.  But these people still grumbled and moaned, wondering about this, and complaining about that.  They experienced and saw, and yet still DOUBTED!  No wonder Jesus proclaimed, “How blessed are they who have not seen, yet believe.”  (John 20:29).

I can’t even imagine the team work necessary to put up camp, break down camp, and then add the temple and all its holy objects. Corral and feed and care for all these animals.  How much water does that take to feed the many herds? Just to breakdown a household, still have food available for whining children, nursing infants, and so forth is more than my mind can even begin to guess at.  Yet this is how these folks lived for forty years.   Granted they didn’t travel daily, yet, sometimes they traveled for several days without stopping.  This was to coordinate a few MILLION people to be in teamwork all working toward a goal of packing or putting up, and each with its own part of that process.  Some broke apart their own households, all had to carry things, all needed to be ready to move out when it was their turn according to which of the twelve tribes they belonged.  It all had to be coordinated for all these people, these animals, and the children. 

And God continued to lead them through Moses, to care for them, to provide for them, to discipline them and remind them He alone is their God, He alone is their provider.  And seeing this, daily, there was still doubt.  I can not claim I don’t have fleeting times of anxiety.  I do.  But I also know and BELIEVE He has a plan, and I will be well cared for, and I have a wonderful home of eternal life down the road, so I can send Satan and his lies about needing to be fearful and anxious and full of grumbling away, because the fight’s been won.

Thank You, Jesus for reminding me whenever my doubts and anxieties loom, that You already won the battle for me and ‘mybellaviews.’