Story 11 - Wandering

Before Easter we left the Hebrew people, the Israelites, in the wilderness. Here God had provided them food to eat (manna and quail), rules to live by, (the 10 commandments at Mount Sinai) and told them to build the Tabernacle, teaching them how to worship him. There were even instructions how organise their campsite. There were thousands of them divided into 12 tribes, and right in the middle of their camp was the Tabernacle, symbolic for God’s holiness being at the centre of their entire life as a community of his people.

God’s presence was seen as a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night.

So God provided everything they needed but they grumbled and moaned…a lot.

“What? Why? When? Maybe….we should follow a different God.”  It must have been so hard for Moses their leader.

After about 2 years in the wilderness, God told Moses to send some spies into the Promised Land to see what and who they would have to deal with when they entered. Moses sent 12 men, one from each tribe and they went in an explored for 40 days. They bought back a bunch of grapes so big 2 men carried it on a pole, and pomegranates and figs. They said that the land was all Moses said it would BUT… the people who lived their were giant like and powerful and the cities surrounded by high walls. Caleb and Joshua, 2 of the 10 spies said,  “that’s true BUT God is with us. Do not be frightened of them.”

The Israelites carried on complaining and grumbling and saying, “We should have stayed in Egypt”!  God was angry at all this. Still they could not trust him. He told Moses that anybody 20 years old and above would wander in the wilderness and die there. A journey that could have taken weeks took 40 years!  Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter the Promised Land as they had different hearts, hearts that trusted God.