We are told that God brought Israel into the desert to test them and see what was in their heart. He brought them to a place where there were but two options: to complain and go back to the life they once lived or to go forward and receive the promise, trusting He would do as He had been all along.
He was bringing them to a “good land…in which you will never eat bread in poverty, and you will not lack anything in it.” But they also would have to battle nations far more numerous than themselves. Yet, what was it that God was concerned the most about? That they would say in their heart, “My power and the might of my hand have produced all this wealth for me”, forgetting that it was He who “gave them power” to do so. He called them to “bless YHWH your God for the good” He has given them.
All along His afflictions they faced were “in order to test you, for it to go well with you in your future.” His focus was not on the present situation or when they entered the land. Rather, it was on the future of the nation. It’s longevity and prosperity being continued. He disciplined them as a father does a child, “training them up in the way they should go.” He knew their weaknesses and fears. So, He proved to them that He was more than able to do all He promised. But it was not believing the promise He gave that was His desire but rather was that they should “take care, lest you forget YHWH your God, by not keeping his commandments, his regulations, and his laws…”
These commandments were not just ceremonial or moral but also the removal of things that would ensnare them into worshipping the gods of other nations, thus, turning them away from His ways to serve their desires and passions.
So, it is with each and everyone of us. Some God has just delivered from bondage and darkness. Other have entered into the desert. Others have come to the land, while others have entered to possess it. We are all at different stages in our walk with the Creator and are daily hearing that carnal inclination calling us back into the ways of those who’s god is pleasure and fulfilling their own desires.
But we must not turn back! For we have been delivered and have started the journey. We have experienced His freedom and heard of His faithfulness to those who have gone before us. He has proven to us that He will never leave us nor turn away from His children and all He desires for us is good. He has given to us a land “flowing with milk and honey”, abounding in the riches He has promised.
However, we must enter in. We cannot forget that He is the one who “gave you power to produce wealth” and He will give us victory over everything that would keep us from enjoying it. Again, we are commanded to enter in and take possession. That great enemy who seeks to bring us back into bondage and cause us to be cast from the land must be slain daily. Let us go forward without fear knowing that “if God is for us who can be against us.” Go and possess the land! Daily let His words be written upon your heart. Meditate upon it always and do not be drawn away by those carnal passions that we war against. Sit quietly before Him and listen carefully to His voice. For He is a living God and has not ceased from speaking to His children.