Journey with Daniel
“Day 33 (Numbers 33)”Categories: 40 Days in the Wilderness
Israel has reached the Promised Land. They are camped on the other side of the Jordan, about to cross and begin their conquest. Numbers 33 gives us a recap over Israel's journeys up to this point - how they came from Egypt and arrived here 40 years later. The chapter ends with God's instructions for when they cross into the land. They were to drive out the inhabitants. God knew the other nations would influence Israel for evil (v. 55), and continue to be a source of pain. So God instructed them to clear out the nations, destroy any idol and high places they found (v. 52), and then settle and distribute the land (v. 53-54).
A song came to mind as I read through this chapter today - "On the road again...". For 40 years Israel was on the move, constantly on the go. Did you notice all the places they visited? Yet in all their wandering they didn't stay put. They didn't set up houses in the wilderness. They kept on moving. They kept on traveling, following their God who led them. God had a destination for His people. He had a land in store for Israel. Though their sin slowed down the journey, God intended for His people (the next generation) to claim that promised land. Numbers 33 helps us appreciate terms such as, "pilgrim" or "sojourner." Think about that - for 40 years they didn't have a place to call home. They'd arrive at a place, but before too long they'd be on the road again - on the move towards the promised land.
What difference would it make for Christians to see ourselves as "pilgrims"? As sojourners? As a people who are "on the road again?" It would help us realize, as we sing, "This world is not my home, I'm just a passin' through." We may not be so consumed with laying up treasures on earth, as we would be laying up treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:19-20). I read a great quote the other day which said, "Let's not be so enamored with the concerns of earth that we fail to focus on the realities of heaven." In other words - this life with all it's joys and pleasures, with all it's pains and heartaches, it's not the promised land. We're on the road. We're seeking a heavenly country. We're pressing on to higher ground. We're headed home.
Don't let where you are, or where you've been distract you from where you're going. Remember - you're a pilgrim. We're headed home. Share that joy with those around you - they need to know about heaven. When your days are dark and you're feeling burdened with the cares and problems of today - remember heaven. There's a place prepared for you. There's a home that's ready for you. There's a Savior waiting for you. Press on pilgrim!
Our amazing God, You are our Leader, our Shepherd, the Light to our path, our Guide through this life. Where You lead, we will follow. You are the source of joy and goodness, we know that our greatest desires find their fulfillment in You. What a hope You've given to us - the forgiveness of our sins, eternal life, a home prepared, to dwell in heaven with You. Oh Father we long for heaven. We dream of heaven. We sing of heaven. We can't wait for the day we see You, and reach that promised land of rest. Thank You for giving Your Son, the source of hope, the One who made this hope possible, the One who prepared the way to You. Help us to remember we are pilgrims. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on You, to set them on things above, not on the things below. On this Lord's Day we worship You as our Savior, Redeemer, our Hope, our Rock. You Father, are our home. We long for the day we worship face to face with You. Living in Your home for all eternity - thank You for that blessed hope!