One of my favorite books in scripture is Exodus because it outlines a plan for an exit and gives specific instructions about a much bigger plan in place. When we breakdown the Exodus and the bigger meaning, we see that God had a plan in place and it included the release of the Israelites from Egypt but He wanted the Israelites to trust Him.
As I read Exodus, I cannot help but notice how God, time after time, delivered the Israelites from evil but these people, despite the efforts of our Lord and witnessing each event, either were not convinced of what they witnessed and observed or they wanted more. These people sound a lot like people today which goes to show you that people are people regardless of where you go and curiosity and naivety are just two common characteristics of human nature.
God wants all of us to simply trust Him despite how big the obstacles look but the naïve side of human beings wants to believe it but they are unable to grasp it so their curious side kicks in and looks for answers elsewhere. Look at the Israelites and all the miracles they had witnessed and while they observed so much, they still looked elsewhere. They doubted long before Thomas and while they were not the first ones to witness the miracles of our Lord—we’d have to go back to Adam and Eve for this—these people were truly unaware of their deserving fate.
With that said, while God did allow them to make their own decisions, He continued to lead and guide them each step of the way. Unfortunately, with that being said, despite God’s guidance and presence at all times, these people were still doubtful and pessimistic so God made them wonder the desert for forty years to show them that all they needed was trust: “And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness” (Numbers 14:33). While trust is a big word, we should not be afraid to see what’s right in front of you.
As we dig into the scriptures, we read that of the twelve spies that were sent, only two over twenty years of age were still alive by the end of the journey: Joshua, and Caleb: “Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me” (Numbers 14:29).When Moses died forty years later, Joshua would lead the Israelites across the Promised Land and Caleb received an inheritance during his old age in the Promised Land. What we see play out in this story are examples of what happens when you truly trust God.
There were twelve spies that were sent out but only two brought back good reports. As we continue to dig into Exodus and the different events that surrounded it, we see just how big and mighty our God is and how He works and while He does not want any one person to perish, He gives each of us the freedom to choose (the only pro-choice selection that I advocate for) which further illustrates and important life lesson that we all learn eventually: there are consequences for everything that we do and do not do. Scripture is clear that what we get what we put in but God will not be mocked for vengeance is the Lord’s: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).
One problem that has always existed for human beings is our curiosity takes us much further than we’d ever expect and/or desire and because we are curious by nature, we have serious problem in terms of being naïve. We trust people that we know we shouldn’t and doubt those who we want to trust much the same way that we do the things that we don’t want to do and do not do the things that we want to do. With all this said, we can learn from the Exodus of the Israelite people and put our trust in God: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Furthermore, as Christians, we know that all things work out for those who simply trust God and allow Him to work: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose” (Romans 8:28).