Exodus 6:5-6a—“I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant. Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them…’”
God freed the Hebrew people from their Egyptian captors just like He promised to, but that didn’t mean that their troubles were over or that their lives would be easy. Even though they were out of Egypt and on a journey, they still had difficulties to deal with. They had been under the power of the Egyptians for 400 years—generations of Israelite people had lived in slavery in Egypt. Even when God brought them out, He had not yet freed them from the mindset that slavery had put them in.
But every trial has its purpose. Through the battles they faced in the desert after Egypt, God was showing them the power and provision that He provided for them. All it would have taken was trust in God for the Israelites to experience all that He had planned for them. But, out of all the Israelites, only two were prepared to take God at His word. Numbers 14:24 says, “…my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land.”
Numbers 13:30-33—“…[Caleb] said, ‘Let us go up at once and take the land. For we are well able to take it in battle.’ But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go against the people. They are too strong for us.’ So they brought the people of Israel bad news about the land they had spied out, saying, ‘The land we have gone to spy out is a land that destroys those who go there to live. All the people we saw in it are very large…We looked like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
This land is called the Promised Land because God had promised His people that He would give them that abundant, fruitful land to live in. The Israelites were so afraid of the people who already lived there that they weren’t willing to trust God to protect them and fulfill His promise to give them that land. But Joshua and Caleb understood that when God promises something, He always delivers.
Even through the toughest times, those of us who are in Christ can know that He is on our side, and that He has already conquered the world. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Just like the Israelites, some of us stop trusting God after we’ve been brought out of our sin and have been forgiven. Forgiveness is amazing, but it isn’t the end! When God calls us, He calls us for a reason. He is the Creator of the universe, and sees the big picture when all we see is what’s in front of us. God knows what He’s doing! No matter what troubles you may be facing, know that God has an amazing plan. Choose a life of freedom, and trust in Him.
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