Detoured By Disobedience
Deuteronomy Chapter 1
By Pastor Josh Oestreich
Deut. 1:2-3a ~ "It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea. Now it came to pass in the fortieth year..."
The LORD God had mightily and miraculously delivered the children of Israel from bondage in the land of Egypt. After their great Exodus, Egypt is now behind them, defeated, and before them lies God's Word of promise, "See, I have set the land before you." The journey to the promised land should only have taken 11 days. However, due to the nation's disobedience they were detoured into the wilderness for 40 years, wandering for 38 of those 40.
Jehovah had given His word; He promised to give His people a good land, a prosperous land, flowing with milk and honey. Yet we read, "Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of
the LORD your God" (Deut. 1:26). The Israelites saw how good and how great this promised land was, yet the fear of the giants who were the inhabitants of that land led the people to disobedience and distrust in God's word. (Proverbs 29:25 says, "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe [secure].")
Moses told the people "Look, the LORD your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the LORD God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged" (Deut. 1:21). The Israelites
had a choice: walk by faith or flee in fear. They had God's Word to stand on and the miracles they experienced in Egypt to look back on, yet they allowed the fear of man to be a snare and a stumbling block in the way of their security. Therefore, they were detoured by their disobedience and they "went through all that great and terrible wilderness" for 40 years (Deut. 1:19). What should have only taken 11 days ended up taking 40 years, and a whole generation, because the nation chose fear over faith. They allowed discouragement into their hearts (Deut.1:28), which led them to disobey.
What promise(s) has the Lord given to you and to me in His Word? What has He set before us that He has already conquered for us? Have we realized that we, as His people, are fighting from victory and not for victory? Are we walking by faith and obedience, or will we allow ourselves to be "detoured" by disobedience? The season you are in may only need to take 11 days, but it could take more if you rebel in fear and respond in disobedience.
Grace and peace.