Israel’s departure from Sinai

Our freedom is not being destroyed by terrorists, but by ignorance, apathy and complacency. Our dumbing down is not accidental but a very well organized plan. (Source Unknown).

Complacency

It has been two years since Israel left Egypt. Having received God’s travel instructions through Moses, Israel set out from Mount Sinai into the wilderness on their way toward the promised land. The people of Israel had camped at Mount Sinai about eleven months. They had become very comfortable living in the same place for nearly a year and not having to face the daily rigors of marching. During this time, God’s Law had been announced and the tabernacle had been constructed and dedicated. However, Israel’s history for the next 38 years (Num. 10:11- 22:1) is for the most part a record of unbelief and failure. These were years during which the people opposed Moses and rebelled against God’s will. Because of their disobedience, Israel wandered in the wilderness for 38 years, leaving behind a trail of graves as the older generation died off. Of that generation, only Joshua and Caleb survived to enter the promised land.

Just like Israel, the more comfortable we become, the less we welcome change. Yet there is usually very little or no growth without challenge and there is no challenge without change. Comfort usually leads to complacency, and complacency is the enemy of character building and spiritual growth. In each new experience of life, one of two things happens: either we trust God and He brings out the best in us, or we disobey God and Satan brings out the worst in us.

Two silver trumpets were used to keep the tribes together as they moved through the wilderness (v. 2). To keep people in right formation required clear communication and control. Trumpet blasts reminded Israel of God’s protection over them. The people of Israel weren’t on a pleasure trip, looking at scenery. They were an army invading enemy territory and commanded by the Lord of Hosts. Each tribe was a division in the Lord’s army (Num. 28) and each division had to be in its proper place. By complimenting Hobab’s wilderness skills (vv. 29-32), Moses let him know he was needed. People cannot know you appreciate them if you do not tell them, they are important to you.

Application

Life is full of changes and few things remain stable. For me, stability should not mean lack of change, but I need to be ready to move with and for God in every circumstance.

Numbers 10:1-36 (English Standard Version)


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