Challenge Central: a CBC devotional
By: Roger Wood
Much of our teaching time in the Pioneer Boy’s Club this year has been spent in the land of Egypt. Coach Jeff started with the magnificent account of Joseph’s life and the beginnings of the nation of Israel. Joseph dies, and his stalwart reputation among the Egyptians quickly fades.
The Book of Exodus begins with the children of Israel in terrible bondage. God raised up Moses to lead them out of Egypt, gave them the Law, fed them manna and quail, supplied them with water from the rock and finally led them to the dwelling place of God. What a trip it had been! Seven weeks of desert marching now brought them to the base of Mount Sinai. After eleven months and five days, the Shekinah cloud of glory began moving again, heading north toward the Promised Land.
At Kadesh-barnea, the grumbling, complaining people had the opportunity to please God and enter into the land. Twelve spies were sent to investigate this new land. Ten men returned with a fearful report creating hysteria among the population. Only two spies, Joshua and Caleb, returned with a favourable report, declaring we can take the land.
Because of their sin of unbelief and failure to enter into the Promised Land, the Israelites were sentenced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. This was a death sentence for that unbelieving generation, and they never did enter the Promised Land, with the exception of the two brave spies.
When our children (and your children) were young and faced with a long car ride, the question that would inevitably be asked was: Are we there yet? This question is run on an annoying loop and is repeated many times during the journey. After the fourteenth ask, I was tempted to pull the car to the side of the road and say, “Yes, we’re here! Get out.”
The thousands of young Hebrew children were probably very much like our children. Faced with an arduous journey ahead of them, the question, “Are we there yet?” had to be on their minds, not for a few hours but for decades to come. Their parents had a lot of explaining to do.
As believers, we are not immune to wilderness experiences. Life can be challenging and is not for the faint of heart.
Here is what Warren Wiersbe admonishes:
“Every difficulty God permits us to encounter will become either a test that can make us better or a temptation that can make us worse, and it’s our own attitude that determines which it will be. If in unbelief we start complaining and blaming God, the temptation will trap us and rob us of an opportunity to grow spiritually. But if we trust God and let Him have His way, the trial will work for us and not against us and help us grow in grace.”