And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
As Christians, we sometimes focus on our salvation and eternal life while living a life that is full of pride and self-made plans. The Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt and were on a journey to Canaan that should have taken them just eleven days. However, because of their disobedience, God caused them to wander in the wilderness and desert for 40 years.
Out of about 2.5 million Israelis, only two men out of the original group made it to Canaan. This is why we need to know that it was God who led them through the wilderness for a reason. As Christians, we need to learn from this example.
There are three reasons why God did this and these three things apply to us today on our journey as well.
To humble them
They had to learn to depend on God and humble themselves before God. They had hearts that were full of pride about themselves. Humility is never easy but it is necessary to walk with God.
When God found pride in them, he took them on a detour and He kept checking their hearts and kept causing them to walk in circles until they learned to humble themselves.
Don’t keep walking in circles. Humble yourself and you will reach your vision sooner.
To know what was in their heart
If we have a good heart, we will speak good things. However, the Israelis constantly complained and murmured about almost everything. They had bad hearts. We need to pray and ask God to give us a good heart.
Sometimes people complain when the church wants to do a project. They complain about lack of money, even if it is only five dollars.
If they would keep God’s commandments
God took less than a day to take them out of Egypt but it took 40 years to take Egypt out of them. They were disobedient people.
Jesus said in John 14:12 “If you love me, keep my commandments”.
To change, we need to repent. The Greek word for repent is Metanoia which means to change one’s mind, repent. We have to realize when we are going in a wrong direction from God and change.