Journey to Canaan
“And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” Ex. 13:20-22.
By His strong hand the Lord freed His people from the slavery in Egypt. Clearly the heavenly Father indicated to them that He had chosen them to be His own people. Daily they saw great wonders. Daily the Lord walked with them being hidden in the cloud during the day, and in the pillar of fire during the night. They had the shadow during the day from the scorching sun and light during the night.
The Almighty God opened them the way through the Red Sea and saved them from the Egyptian army. They realized that all things are possible to God. The Lord gave them bread from heaven, and water from the rock. Also it was a miracle that their clothes and shoes did not wear out during the forty year journey.
What was the reason that only two of the adults could enter into the Promised Land?
“And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: and the children of Israel said unto them, would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Ex. 16:2, 3.
“And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would God we had died in this wilderness!” Num. 14:1, 2.
“And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: and they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, the land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.” Num. 14:6-8.
Murmuring, unbelief and ingratitude were the reasons that most of them could not enter into Canaan’s land, and besides they lost also their eternal life.
The History of God’s People Repeats Itself
We as the new spiritual Israel are also on the way to the heavenly Canaan and Jesus is our leader. He has freed us from Satan’s slavery and leads us through the modern wilderness. Should we not keep the history of Ancient Israel in our minds, that we would not repeat their mistakes?
“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:6-12.
Our enemy tries to lead us back to the “slavery of Egypt.” He is doing his utmost to keep us out of heaven. Therefore we need strong faith, because our trials are great.
We must forget Egypt and look forward and not back. The slower we travel, the longer our journey will last.
Can someone possibly say when tempted: “It is impossible to get to heaven, the way is too long, difficult and stony. I cannot get rid of my weaknesses, and I am not able to gain a Christlike character.” But Ellen White saw the beautiful land of heaven and also she saw there Enoch, Moses, Elijah, and the 24 elders saved from this evil world. They are witnesses that it is possible to enter into heaven.
Jesus made it possible for everyone to return to the heavenly Father and to gain eternal life. The more we eat of the spiritual food, the stronger we become and the faster we will reach our destination.
Only By Faith Can We Follow Our Saviour
“Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:1, 2.
The way is difficult, but Jesus is walking before us and smoothes the way for us. Our part is to trust and follow Him. If we believe that He can help us to be overcomers, it will happen. When we let Him do His work in us by His Holy Spirit we will change and become prepared for the companionship with the angels.
Like Enoch we find it difficult to live in this world of sin and our desire is to move to the holy city of God.
“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.” Rev. 15:3.
Dear fellow traveler! Our journey is almost over. Gather all your strength, do not give up, soon we will enter into eternal rest. Then we can rest from our long and severe struggle. Then we will sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, which is also the song of our experiences. Then our dear Saviour will present to us dwellings where we can live eternally.
“Then we began to look at the glorious things outside of the city. There I saw most glorious houses, that had the appearance of silver, supported by four pillars set with pearls most glorious to behold. These were to be inhabited by the saints. In each was a golden shelf. I saw many of the saints go into the houses, take off their glittering crowns and lay them on the shelf, then go out into the field by the houses to do something with the earth; not as we have to do with the earth here; no, no. A glorious light shone about their heads, and they were continually shouting and offering praises to God.” EW 18.
“There the heavenly Shepherd leads His flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God’s people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find home.” GC 675.
“The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all flow life and light and gladness throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed and perfect joy, declare that God is love.” GC 678. AMEN.