Note: I am indebted for much of this background to a wonderful companion book, “What the Bible is All About” by Henrietta Mears. I recommend it to all!
This book might be called “The Wilderness Wandering”, as it chronicles the travels of the newly freed nation of
The books opens with the children of
The Israelites had no itinerary, but had to trust God to lead them step by step, much as we must follow the guidance of God in our lives one leading at a time. Their walk was marred by sin: grumbling about the food God provided, jealousy among the leadership. As they camped at Kadesh, they sent out 12 spies to report on the land they were promised. But when 10 of the spies gave a discouraging report, the people refused to take the land in unbelief, even though they were only about 11 days away from entering the Promised Land! For their fear and unbelief, that first generation was doomed to wander in the desert until they all had died; the second generation would enter the land, and the wilderness wandering would be their training. Often fear keeps us from enjoying all that God wants us to have: fear of what others will say, fear of what will happen if we put our trust completely in God.
The Israelites’ complaining and unbelief even induced Moses to stumble and sin with his mouth; this sin cost him the privilege of entering into the Promised Land. On their way to