“He is also head of the body, the church…so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything” (Colossians 1:18). If we were to put this verse into one overriding statement, it would be this: take God very seriously.
At a crucial juncture, the people doubted God’s promise and retreated into unbelief. The result? Monotonous wandering in circles for almost 40 years as all individuals 20 years and older died off, leaving a new generation to enter Canaan, the land of promise.
Instead he suggests asking ourselves a question when something negative happens: What does this experience make possible?
After 400 years of slavery to build edifices for a pagan king, God miraculously rescued the ancient Hebrews. When Pharaoh threatened to wipe them out at the Red Sea, God miraculously delivered them. It was time to celebrate, not complain.
No matter what the situation, people in every generation and age group have struggled with a lack of gratitude and feelings of entitlement. We have a long history of pride, narcissism, and faithlessness.
Under Moses’s leadership, the Israelites left the painful but familiar setting of Egypt. With the yoke of slavery broken from their necks, God’s people followed Him into an uncharted, unpredictable, unexpected wilderness. Their destination? Canaan. They had struck out on a journey none of them had ever dreamed possible…and right away they faced trials that tested their faith.
Every leader or would-be leader must ask and answer the question, “What am I going to do with my life?” Regardless of how one answers this question, at some point one will have to say “no” in order to pursue their life calling.
After the Hebrews’ exodus from Egyptian slavery, they crossed the Red Sea and began the journey to Canaan. But in Numbers 11:1-6, we find the Hebrews growing increasingly discontent and determined to go back to the familiarity, security, and safety of Egypt—even if it meant personal slavery and direct disobedience to God.
The Christian life is the life of faith, but if we fail here, a shipwreck will occur…as it did to a whole generation of Hebrews. Compared to their failure, the Titanic and the Valdez were minor accidents.