If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.” Numbers 14:8-9
Having been delivered by God from bondage in Egypt, the people of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years as God was leading them to the Promised Land. Finally, after so long they reached their destination. There was one issue, however, which had to be overcome. The land was occupied by powers that defied God. Still, God called His people to take possession of the land, promising to be with them as their protector and defender as they entered. But the people doubted. They turned away from God’s intentions and disobeyed the One who delivered them so long ago. Even as God promised to bring them safely to their destination, the people of Israel looked to their own selves for protection and support. They refused the gift God was willing to give. It would take another forty years of wandering before the people would finally obey God and receive the land that God was giving.
Even today, as Christians striving to follow God’s will for our lives, we continue to fall back into sinful ways of doubt and mistrust. Living in a consumer oriented society has us all striving to maximize all that we have in order to feel successful and blessed. We work so hard attempting to fulfill the dreams we have for ourselves that we neglect the many blessings of God we have already. Working long hours earns more money. More money buys more luxury. More luxury give us a feeling of perceived satisfaction. And the more we get the more we want. Getting caught up in such a cycle strains marriages, families, friendships and many other relationships. Living in accordance with such practice cause strain in our relationship with God as well. There is little time for worship, less time for Bible study and no dwelling in the midst of God’s family of faith.
Still, God desires to bless His people. Following the precepts of God and obeying His commands leads us to faithfulness. Living in faithfulness we begin to see how truly blessed we are as children of the heavenly Father. Weekly worship, daily reading of Holy Scripture and praying in all circumstances strengthens our relationship with God, giving us faith to trust and obey His will for us. The more we trust and obey, the more we set our heart on heavenly things and the less time we spend wandering in the wilderness of earthly life. Only then can we see that we are truly blessed by the God who would go to extraordinary lengths to save His people from sin.
Father God, we offer you our thanks and praise for you have saved us from sin and blessed your people with hope for eternal life. In this time of Advent waiting, help us to prepare ourselves in mind, body and spirit, that we may obey your commandments, strive to do your will and receive the gift of your Son in peace and gladness. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.