And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not…(Deuteronomy 8:2 ESV)
The Exodus in the Old Testament provides us with such a great picture of God’s anointed rescuing God’s people from their enslavement. Moses delivers God’s people from their enslavement in Egypt; Jesus delivers God’s people from their enslavement to the sinful nature. In like manner, entrance into the Promised Land is a picture of our final entrance into the new heavens and the new earth. Entrance into the Promised Land was judgment upon God’s enemies and brought death, just as our entrance into the new heavens and new earth will bring judgment upon God’s enemies and the second death.
So where does that leave the time of wandering in the wilderness? What does it give us a picture of? It would seem a safe bet to say that the time in the wilderness is the time that we are in now as God’s people. We’ve been rescued from our slavery to sin but have not yet entered the Promised New Heavens and New Earth. We’re wandering. This verse above explains why it is that we wander; “that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not…” It is the time in which we should expect trials that teach us to depend upon God and walk by faith SO THAT when we DO enter the Promised Land, we will be ready to receive the full blessing of the Lord. Moses continues,
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. (Deuteronomy 8:7-10 ESV)
How do you respond to trials and testing?
Chronological Reading Plan plus Psalms: Dt 8-10, Ps 73