Deuteronomy 8:2-5, “Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. For all these forty years your clothes didnt wear out, and your feet didnt blister or swell. Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good.”
I believe that a majority, if not all, believers of Jesus encounter a time of “wandering”. Like the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob whom He delivered from bondage in Egypt, so too are the experiences of many of those whose faith is in the Lamb of God.
When you consider the passage in Deuteronomy 8:2-5, the LORD God made it clear to the Israelites what their 40 years of wandering meant. It was to humble them and test them to prove their character.
If you have read the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, you would understand why it took them that long. It is surprising that coming out of bondage, the Israelites where still a proud and rebellious people. Years of slavery hardened their hearts to the LORD.
God had to prepare them to receive the promised land. He will not give it to someone who will only lay waste the goodness of the gift bestowed. The LORD God loved the people of Israel. He still does up to this time. He wants them to experience the life He planned for them. That is why He had to “weed” out the rebellious, the complainers and grumblers from the community.
In our lives, we may be experiencing such humbling and testing. Maybe we are in our “wilderness” because of years of being hardened due to sin or bad habits. For many, it is difficult to get out of. But God has a promise for us. John 10:10 says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” He [Jesus] wants to give you a rich and satisfying life! What could be better than that.
But if we have continuing sin and bad habits in our lives, God will allow us to undergo an undetermined amount of wandering because He wants us to be ready when we receive His promise. It now all depends on us.
Have you been complaining about life lately? Have you been blaming God for your situation, not loudly but in your heart? Do you feel you are being deprived of your “needs”? You may not be realizing it but you may be in your time of wandering until such time that we learn to trust on God humble ourselves before Him.