As we begin 2022, I wanted to share an encouragement to give us hope for this coming year.
In Numbers 10:11-12, the Israelites are about to head towards the Promised Land. It has been two years since the Israelites left Egypt. They had camped at the wilderness of Sinai, and now they were going to the Promised Land.
1) Have faith in the wilderness to believe that the Lord has promised good
As the Israelites were about to set out, Moses says to Hobab, his brother-in-law, “For the Lord has promised good concerning Israel ” (Numbers 10:29). It encouraged me to see where Moses was when he said this. The Israelites were in the wilderness of Sinai at that time! The picture at the top of this blog is a picture of the wilderness of Sinai1.
It encouraged me to see the faith of Moses. Despite standing in front of a barren land, he believed the Lord has promised good.
At the time of this writing, 2022 looks like that desert. Right now, there is a pandemic, rumors of war, etc. On top of that, many of us have challenges in our work and family lives.
But despite what I see right now, I want to follow the faith of Moses and believe that the Lord has promised good. One day when we look back at 2022, we will see that the Lord has truly caused all things to work for our good, both in this earthly life and in view of eternity.
2) The Lord looks for a place for us to rest
Thus they set out from the mount of the Lord three days’ journey, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them. (Numbers 10:33)
When I got engaged to my wife, I had a short amount of time to find an apartment for us to live before our wedding date. The Lord helped us to quickly find a suitable place. At that time, I was thankful that the Lord gave us a home that was close to my work and was very reasonably priced. A few years later, we had children, and then I discovered that there was a beautiful park for the children just a few minutes walking distance from our home. The Lord didn't just provide for our immediate need, but He also provided something that would meet our future needs.
This is the care and concern that the Lord has when He seeks for a resting place for His children.
3) The Lord gives help through others in the church
Then Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “Please do not leave us, inasmuch as you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will be as eyes for us.” (Numbers 10:29-31)
The Israelites were not familiar with the wilderness, but Hobab was an expert. It’s wonderful to see the Lord sovereignly putting someone like Hobab in their midst to guide them through the desert.
The Lord has placed people like Hobab in our church today who have different areas of expertise. I don’t have to face the wilderness alone. Instead, I simply need to pick up the phone and ask someone for help.
4) My response should be to desire the Lord alone
Then it came about when the ark set out that Moses said, “Rise up, O Lord! And let Your enemies be scattered, And let those who hate You flee before You.” When it came to rest, he said, “Return, O Lord, To the myriad thousands of Israel.” (Numbers 10:35-36)
What should my response be in view of such a loving God? I want to be like Moses and desire the Lord Himself.
I apply this passage to my life like this. In the morning, I can be like Moses and say, “Lord, please go out and help me with all the daily challenges I face.”
But in the evening, I want to say, “Lord, thank you for going out and solving my problems. It’s okay that all my problems aren’t solved yet. Right now, I just want to be with You.”
We serve an amazingly good God. The Lord will certainly promise good for His children. May we respond by desiring Him alone.
1) Image source: https://claudemariottini.com/2014/09/26/israel-in-the-wilderness-of-sinai/