God led the Israelites to the edge of the Promised Land, and told them to cross the Jordan River and make it there own. Very specifically, He reminded them of their previous victories, and very specifically He told them what lands to take and what lands to pass by. He practically paved the way, or set stones up the hillside to make their way easier. God offered to hold their hands, win their battles, crash the gates and crumble the walls of their enemies.
It is difficult to see things from a godly perspective. Whereas God saw their enemies as evil and heartless, the Israelites saw them as mighty giants. God saw their enemies as His enemies, but the Israelites saw them as bigger than God. God saw their enemies as irredeemable. The Israelites saw them as unconquerable.
Because they were unable to see beyond their own eyes, because they could not see things like God sees them… because of their lack of faith, the Israelites were to spend 40 more years in the wilderness. They were to live as nomads in the hills before the Promised Land, but not to cross into it, and to remain their until that generation – the generation of rebellious, fearful doubters – died off.
In the end, it was the next generation who took the Promised Land. From the first generation, only Joshua and Caleb were left, and neither of them ever doubted.
What a picture for us to follow. As a teenager, I was confused, doubted, and frightened. I turned away from God and did things my own way. I wish with all my heart that I had not rebelled, but I did. God let me wander in the wilderness for forty years until all my doubts had died, and until I had no rebellion left in me. Now that my doubts are gone, I once again accept His hand. I have no fear as, together, He and I look ahead toward the Promised Land.
If you have ever doubted… if you have ever been so fearful that you rebelled against God, then Fear Not. He still offers you His hand, and will lead you into the Promised Land.
… And He takes me by the hand
and leads me to the Promised Land,
what a day, glorious day that will be.
– What a Day That Will Be, by Jim Hill.