On The Edge of the Promised Land
by Art Good 10-21-2013
Life was not easy for the nation of ex-slaves in the desert. Even though that they no longer had to labor in the hot sun making clay bricks for their Egyptian slave masters they were walking through a parched wilderness. Most biblical scholars agree that Moses had at least one million people in tow as they crossed the Sinai wilderness marching toward the Promised Land.
Their amazing release from Pharoah and the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea quickly faded under the hot and penetrating sun. The Bible tells us that the people began to murmur and complain against Moses, God’s appointed leader. Imagine camping with thousands of negative, whining, complaining people in the desert without water or easy access to food! Not exactly family picnic (If it does, in fact, remind you of your family gatherings, let me know and I will keep you and your family in my prayers).
Days passed in that desolate wasteland as God faithfully and continually provided just what they needed until they reached the edge of the Promised Land. Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan to check out the conditions in what was to be their land of their inheritance. When they returned, ten spies reported seeing “giants” in the land and advised a hasty retreat. The remaining two spies reported seeing a “land flowing with milk and honey” and suggested they claim the land as God instructed.
The people however, believed the majority report and a violent rebellion broke out. They lamented, “If only we had died in Egypt.” Others cried out, “Let’s stone Moses.” The more politically minded said, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
Defeat and complaints ruled the hearts of God’s people to the point that they actually wanted to give up and die or go back to slavery rather than push ahead!
A trip that should have taken a few weeks ended up taking an additional forty years because of the unbelieving hearts of God’s people. They refused to believe God for what He promised and for what they could not fully understand. The result was a defeated nation wandering around until nearly everyone from that generation died off.
The application is not far from the condition of the church in an affluent America. We have been released from slavery by the sacrifice and blood of Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God. As we journey toward heaven, the ultimate Promised Land, we can grow weary and unbelieving. When life gets hard we are tempted to adopt the same kind of negative reasoning that plagued ancient Israel. “If God is leading me, why am I here in this painful circumstance?” “Why doesn’t God deliver me out of my situation?” “What good is it to be a Christian if I have to suffer like this?” If we continue down that path we soon discover that our two closest companions are grumbling and complaining.
However, the Bible gives us the examples of Caleb and Joshua to show us a better way. These two men experienced the same wilderness sufferings as their countrymen and they saw the same “giants” in the Promised Land...but they believed God instead of complaining. The Scripture records that the entire rebellious generation of adults died off in the desert except two men, Joshua and Caleb.
If you are in your wilderness, a time or place of challenge, pain and/or suffering, learn from Caleb and Joshua. They looked beyond the smaller, temporary giants challenging them and saw their gigantic, eternal God!
Come and see why we call our Sunday Morning Service CELEBRATE!
We invite you to check it out and discover why we chose that name. Let me give you a hint... we believe Christians ought to be happy, celebrating people! We have all seen too many people who claim to have a relationship with Christ, have their sins forgiven, on their way to heaven, who look like poster children for depression. Christians have problems and challenges, but we also have HOPE!! We encourage you to decide to live life with overflowing hearts in spite of your circumstances! To make the choice to choose to worship in the warm, wonderful Virginia summertime as well as the wintery storms that break through the mountains. We invite you to come and discover the joy of celebrating life and the hope that can be yours! Come as you are and experience the God who loves you more than you know. It will change your life!
Property Team- We are looking for people who will work alongside our Church Trustees to help us take better care of the physical properties of the church, plan and execute renovations, mowing of our lot and field, participate and help schedule church-wide work days, as well as routine repairs and general maintenance. If you are interested please call the church office and leave a message with any of our church Trustees: Mark Lloyd , Lisa Smith or Ken Hash.
Connections Team- We are looking for individuals who can help us plan and execute outreach and promotional events four times per year as opportunities for the church to fellowship and newcomers to become relationally connected. If you are interested please call the church office and someone will return your call asap!
Worship Team Members Needed