Have you ever wondered what the Israelites did while they were in the wilderness? I always thought they walked around in circles seeing the same sites over and over again. But in today’s reading, the opposite is true. They were not lost. God knew exactly where they were going.
It’s human nature to want to go from Point A to Point B in the shortest amount of time. We can even set our GPS to find the shortest route. But the Israelites walked a vast wilderness for four decades due to their unbelief and disobedience. Instead of the promised milk and honey, they lived – and many died – in the scorching heat of the desert.
Today, after reading where the Israelites camped, those names may not mean anything to you. But I’m sure while you’ve wandered your own spiritual wilderness; you’ve dwelled in places like Hopelessness, Despair, Pain, Testing, and Doubt. God’s grace to the Israelites not only promised them relief after the forty years were over, but it guided them every single day they were there. When we follow God, even in our times of being pressed down, (2 Corinthians 4:7-10), we’ll learn that God is still in the midst of us and very much in control. He is the cloud (providing cool shade) by day and the pillar of fire (giving warmth and light) by night.