Spiritually Speaking: Parallels

Undoubtedly, the plights and treks of the Israelites of the Old Testament are penned down in scripture for our example, since the Christian walk often seems to parallel the history of the Hebrews.

I was always baffled at how disbelieving these people were toward the Lord and how much they whined with Moses. After they successfully escaped out of Egypt, it wasn't long before their high spirits faded back to critical, fearful attitudes.

I mean, God spared the city of Goshen from the plagues, then divided a massive sea for them to cross over in safety from Pharaoh, and yet they still continued to distrust Him thereafter?

But wait.

How can I be shocked at this when I've been guilty of the same sin of unbelief?

OK, maybe God hasn't literally parted a sea for me, but He has done tremendous things that I never thought possible in my life.

And yet so many times, even after I have witnessed Him come on the scene in a miraculous way, I have stooped my shoulders in worry or questioned God's motives during a hard trial He allowed to come my way.

The Lord reminds His people in Deuteronomy 29:5 (ESV), "I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet."

Yeah, you read that right.
Giant sand dune in Pacific City, Oregon

The Lord didn't exile or abandon His people to the wilderness to fend for themselves. 

He led them. 

Of course, it was due to their disobedience, and it wasn't His perfect will for it to happen that way.

Still, His guidance and provision did not cease.

There have been moments I have taken wrong turns, which resulted in a detour that could have otherwise been avoided. And yes, there are always consequences, but that never stops God from continuing to love me and give me grace to press on.

The Lord purposefully leads us straight into storms or wastelands sometimes. Once He brings us out of them, however, our hearts feel lighter, having heaved off all our own abilities and learned to lean on Jehovah's strength instead. 

These trying times cause us to release all sorts of burdens we no longer require while in His service.

Moses had to come to realize his own military leadership skills were of no use in God's hands. The prophet had to endure many humbling hardships in order for him to gain the traits needed to be the leader the Lord needed him to be.

"And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no," Deuteronomy 8:2 (KJV).

Trials and tests have their way of stripping us of all our excess layers, revealing where we are at with our walk with God and what needs to be improved upon in our character and attitudes. 

We might shake our heads at the ignorance of the Israelites and think "why couldn't they just get it right the first time instead of having to go through the same lesson over and over?"

But how many times have we had to come up against the same temptation repeatedly because we did not overcome it initially?  

Each time, it is humbling, but the Lord doesn't do it to embarrass or frustrate us. 

He wants to bring out our desire to abide by His Word, in order to prove to the world and to our enemy that we are His chosen people who can and will stand the test.

Hebrews 12:6 (ESV) states, "For the Lord disciplines the one he loves..."

You might be in a fierce battle right now, or maybe it seems like you're wandering through a desert with no aim in sight, feeling spiritually dry and forgotten of God. 

Remember this: Not one day in those forty years did the Lord forsake His children or neglect to deliver fresh manna to them each morning. He protected them from the elements and predators. He sheltered them and kept them clothed sufficiently.

Likewise, just because it appears God is not performing great miracles does not mean He will cease to lead you and provide for you just as He did ages ago with the Israelite nation. 

Museum in Tucson, Arizona
The Lord just wants us to trust Him.

After all, He has had a lot of experience in this area.

He has been our rescue on countless occasions and worked every situation out for our best interest, one way or another, good or bad, thus far in life.

What makes us think He can't get us to our main destination now?

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