BECAUSE OF THE TRIALS OF THE WAY, many became impatient and discouraged. Which in turn, caused more grumbling, murmuring and complaining among the Exodus generation and God was grieved with them. He sent fiery serpents among them and many died.
“And they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, and the people became impatient (depressed, much discouraged), because [of the trials] of the way.” Numbers 21:4
They were not “wandering” as some suppose, God was leading them in the way He wanted and they didn’t like it. Why? Because God’s way is never the easy way, it’s the narrow and afflicted path. They did not like their circumstances and complained against God and their leader.
God continually took care of them and fed them, but it was never enough. And so they were not allowed to enter the Promised land. If we learn one thing from the Exodus generation of Israelites, it is how much God hates grumbling and complaining and a heart of disbelief in those He redeems.
“And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God. They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law, And forgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them. But they sinned even more against Him By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness. And they tested God in their heart By asking for the food of their fancy.
Yes, they spoke against God: They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Therefore the Lord heard this and was furious; So a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger also came up against Israel, Because they did not believe in God, And did not trust in His salvation. In spite of this they still sinned, And did not believe in His wondrous works. Therefore their days He consumed in futility, And their years in fear. Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth, And they lied to Him with their tongue; For their heart was not steadfast with Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant. Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.”
Ps 78:8, 10-11, 17-19, 21-22, 32-33, 36-37, 41
I get it. It can become discouraging when things don’t go our way. The way in which He is leading is not the way of least resistance, but the rather the path less traveled. Most won’t walk it and many that start out find it’s trials and afflictions are too much and they go back. However, the narrow path of affliction is the only way of true riches and spiritual blessings.
Acts records that following Jesus was “the way”. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life”. Peter refers to Christianity as “the way of truth”. The writer of Hebrews refers to Jesus’ broken body as the “new and living way”. If we learn anything from first century Christians, the way is filled with bumps and bruises, fiery trials, discouraging times, affliction and persecution;
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—” II Corinthians 4:8-9
Yet, it’s also the only way of hope, the only way of true riches, the only way to victory over the giants, the world and this wicked culture. We are not stumbling in the dark and tripping over obstacles; God is leading us in the way, He provides along the way, He comforts along the way, He heals along the way, and He has a perfect plan and purpose where our pain leads to His glory. Your part is to fully surrender and give yourself over to His way and do not get discouraged when trials come but rather rejoice. The outcome will be successful if you just stay the course. He leads. You trust and follow.
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