I am a questioner of all things. I have a natural curiosity about things. I believe God made me that way, in accordance with my purpose here on this earth. I love to solve a mystery and have always been drawn to mystery shows on tv. I have to be careful these days as there are some scenes I don’t want in my head. Sometimes that curiosity has led to places I have to pray myself out of!
So one of my questions is…if the first generation of Israelites died in the wilderness without getting to the Promised Land because they didn’t change, how did the second generation turn out so well? They went over the river, fought battles, drove the enemy out, and gained their inheritance. One could say they learned the lessons of their parents and didn’t want to go down that path, which is possible. But in my own experience, even though I didn’t want to make the same decisions my mother did, I found I did not have the power to make good decisions before salvation, but instead, I followed the exact same path she did, making unwise decisions.
The Scriptures say in 1 Corinthians 10:2-4 that “They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.…” All ate the same food, all drank from the Rock (which is a picture of Jesus), but with MOST, God was not pleased and their bodies fell in the wilderness. My notes on this say, “Most? A majority?” It would seem that is what “most” means.
The wilderness will make or break us. Jesus overcame in the wilderness, and we all have wilderness times in our lives too. But we CAN make it. The bible reveals that they didn’t make it and spells out what they did…they grumbled and complained, doubting God. They lusted and were sexually immoral. We too must not fall into these sins.
“Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them…Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day, twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” I Corinthians 10:6-11
Bring this into our times. Everyone in your church gets the same “food” (teaching) at church, everyone “drinks” or is saved by Christ (we assume). Why do some of us fall? Because the wilderness proves us. It tries our faith. We either make it through the hard times or we fold. Jesus made it because He knew His identity in God and He used the Word of God to battle the temptations that came by actually saying them out loud. Could this work for us too?
If you are a believer, you can win in the wilderness, just like Jesus did. He never wavered from who He was and He spoke the Scriptures to win the battle. If you aren’t a believer, you absolutely will fold in the wilderness. Experience salvation now!!! Jesus died to make you a winner!
How did their kids turn out to be such winners? I suppose there’s only one answer…they all got “saved,” so to speak. Salvation as we know it was not available in the Old Testament times, but FAITH was available. We see Abraham was justified by FAITH. The second generation Israelites believed and obeyed God and went into the Promised Land; they marched around Jericho according to the instructions God gave them and saw its walls fall down. The next battle didn’t go so well, because someone had disobeyed, which caused their defeat, but when they obeyed God, they prevailed.
There were two survivors of the group of 12 who were sent to spy out the Promised Land. They were the only two who had faith to go in and take it, but they had to wait because the other ten caused the hearts of the Israelites to fear. Joshua and Caleb were 80 plus years old before they got to see their dreams come true. The other spies who spread the evil report all died early. Joshua and Caleb, at 80 years of age, led the younger generation into the Promised Land. These two must have mentored and taught that generation how to be overcomers. At least, that’s how I see it in my mind.