But you have seen the Lord perform all these mighty deeds with your own eyes! Therefore, be careful to obey every command I am giving you today, so you may have strength to go in and take over the land you are about to enter. If you obey, you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors and to you, their descendants—a land flowing with milk and honey! Deuteronomy 11:7-9 (NLT)
The children of Israel really blew it. It should have taken only eleven days to travel from Egypt to the Promised Land. But it took them 40 years! Why? Because they did not believe God. He promised to protect them and give them the victory over the current inhabitants of Canaan. But they were scared and complained that the giants in the land would kill them. The miracle of watching the Red Sea pour over and demolish their attackers from Egypt did nothing to help them be bold and courageous. He even gave them proof that the land was rich when the scouts brought back huge bunches of grapes. Yet, they still did not believe God. Instead, they complained, whined, and wished they were back in Egypt. God finally had enough. He was done with their lack of faith and disobedience and as a result, they never set foot in this land flowing with milk and honey. He let them wander for 40 years in that desert until the older generation died, replaced by their young and innocent children. This new generation obeyed God and He gave them victory. I have been reading the story of these families since January and I have learned much about the thoroughness of God. He is very specific. The one thing I know is that I would much rather make the trip in eleven days rather than 40 years. I want to trust Him when the”giants” in my life are scary and overwhelming. When he leads me to a new task, I want to be enthusiastic rather than timid. Please help me to learn from the story of these frightened people so that I will walk out in strength and courage – one step at a time – to the land that You have called me to conquer.