What Can We Learn from the Wilderness Wanderings? Part 2

We need to learn to focus on the opportunities, not the obstacles. Focus on the greatness of God and not the task that seems undoable. Finally, focus on God’s abilities, not our inabilities, for we can do nothing without Him.

What Can We Learn from the Wilderness Wanderings? Part 2

In our second point, we will look at something that is definitely done in our time today. Although we might hear people say, “I do not do that, do I.” We will be able to recognize this in the lives of many people.

Some may still argue that it is not there, but it is. Moses had gone up to Mt. Sinai to receive word from God. When Moses came down the mount, he spoke the words of God as written in the Ten Commandments.

Exodus 20:3-17 tells us plainly and precisely what we are to do. Unfortunately, humanity makes such idols for itself today.

Finding Idols During Wilderness Wanderings

Yes, we might say that some people actually do worship little statues of Buddha, like those we see in some restaurants, but I am referring to idols we have in our everyday lives that do not necessarily sit on a shelf.

Do we know that some people put their money before God? In a sense, they worship the almighty dollar. They cannot tithe like they should because they need that little extra in their bank account to tide them over until the next paycheck.

They have to save it for a rainy day. “I worked hard for my money, it’s mine!” Some people may say. Greed has set into their lives. But what did God say about tithing?

Every tithe of the herd and flock — every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod — will be holy to the Lord (Leviticus 27:32).

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Some people see their worldly possessions, i.e., houses, land, cars, clothes, etc., as more important than God. We can possibly name numerous other things that any person has that could be placed before God or what he considers more important than God.

Many people have to have this or that, or they need this or that. Something has been placed more important than God. What a shame.

Today’s society has become a “gimme, gimme, gimme all you can, and I will take all you can” society. We have to get what we can, take what we can, and keep what we can before someone else gets it.

People have put their jobs or careers before God. They would rather work than go to church or serve. They work so much that they have to take a day to sleep in or “catch up” in their free time.

They have to “be” somebody according to society. They have to reach a certain plateau in the eyes of the world. They tell themselves that they will have time for faith stuff later. They do not have time for God right now.

For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).

When we put things before Christ, we are not serving. We have put Jesus on the back burner of the stove of our lives. Our lives have become our idols.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24).

Some may say they do not do these things, but if they would examine their lives, they just might find that they actually do. Many have given in to the world’s tactics. Many Christians are still worldly-minded.

Who Do We Serve?

Who do we hold fast unto, or whom do we serve? Do we serve God, or has Satan put us in a snare? Do we strive for what is right in the eyes of God? Have we put Jesus first in our life?

These are questions we should ask ourselves each day. We should ask the Lord to show us our weaknesses and ask for strength to conquer those areas in our lives. Let the Lord be the center of our lives. Joshua had put it simply:

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

One more point that I would like to look at is the “wall of water” and the “ensuing enemy.” Moses was leading the children of Israel out of Egypt.

The Egyptian army was in hot pursuit all the way until the Israelites faced the Red Sea in front of them with the army behind them. The children of Israel cried out, wondering why Moses had led them this way. They were afraid. They only saw a negative outcome. 

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again” (Exodus 14:13).

How Does This Apply to Us Today?

What does this sound like from people today? Do we not do the same thing? When trouble comes, we just totally lose it. Fear sets in our hearts, and we begin to lose faith. If and when we see those trials creeping up on us, we should be like the Psalmist.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

We need to learn to avoid faulty ways of dealing with trouble. Do not hold God responsible for any trouble that might come in your life. In other words, do not blame God for the terrible things but rather; thank Him for the opportunity that lies ahead. Do not resort to resentment and hatred toward people.

Just say, “There is a lesson to learn here.” Do not surrender to self-pity and despair. Yes, it is hard not to. When an issue arises that we cannot understand, we all seem to draw inward in some way. The cares of this life can be a major pain.

Face those troubles with faith in God. Discover and depend upon the promises of God.

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry (Psalm 40:1).

Trust in the goodness and power of God for help.

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry (Philippians 4:13).

We need to learn to search for the good in all things at all times.

One way of enduring the pain of troubles is by developing a plan. Listen to God speak to you by reading His Word. Let God speak to you through worship. Praise God at all times, and be thankful for your blessings.

We need to learn to focus on the opportunities, not the obstacles. Focus on the greatness of God and not the task that seems undoable. Finally, focus on God’s abilities, not our inabilities, for we can do nothing without Him.

For further reading:

What Can We Learn from the Israelites Wandering the Desert for 40 Years?

What Can We Learn from the Wilderness Wanderings? Part 1

What Is the Significance of the Promised Land in the Bible?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Givaga