Life can be unpredictable, which is exciting if it's in a good way. However, if we could see the future, then it wouldn't be unpredictable. Whether our circumstances are joyous or painful, change is inevitable. So we hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and take what comes! The one and only constant is, GOD is in control. We really need to be assured of that fact, especially when our lives go into a “free-fall.”

One of the most trying periods is when we think we are walking into a blessing and it goes totally the opposite. Like every aspect of life, the Bible teaches about these types of circumstances. One of several examples, is the story of the amazing deliverance of Israel from Egypt into their Promised Land.

Most of us are familiar with the story of Moses (played by the late Charlton Heston) as he led Israel through the Red Sea, via the epic movie, “The Ten Commandments.” Of course Hollywood took some creative liberty with the script, but for the most part we got the message... ya just don't mess with God!

After Israel got safely across, Moses' sister, Miriam, led the women in the dance of joy and sang praises to the Almighty, and then the eleven day journey began, which ended up taking forty years! Israel numbered in the millions, and had been in slavery for four centuries. They didn't have a clue about how to be free men or to believe in this wondrous God of miracles. They had to trust Moses to lead them, and for the first time they had the freedom to obey or not, and they didn't know what to do with it.

Six weeks after all the miracles God had performed through Moses to obtain their freedom, Israel started whining against Moses. When there are several million people angry against one man, it can get pretty scary. They said they were starving and should have stayed in Egypt, so God fed them Manna (i. e. “What is it?”). It looked like white coriander seeds and tasted like honey crackers, and arrived every morning like the dew. Then they got sick of Manna and complained to Moses for meat, and said they missed their foods in Egypt... so God sent them quail. Murmur, murmur, murmur... even the word “murmur” sounds like its meaning!

At another point, they said they were dying of thirst and should have stayed in Egypt. Chapter after chapter, they continue to doubt God, want to kill Moses, and demand to return to Egypt, the land of slavery. By the time we get to the book of Numbers, even the other two leaders, Miriam and Aaron (Moses' brother) are complaining against Moses. God appears and deals with them, in chapter twelve.

In Numbers 13, God instructs Moses to pick one leader from each of the twelve tribes to spy out the land of Canaan, the land of His promise. Twelve men left camp and for forty days traveled the land, observed the people (all their tribal names ended in “ites”), the crops, soils, and cities. When the spies returned to give their report, they brought back one cluster of grapes, since it was the time of first harvest. It was so huge, two men had to carry it on a pole between them!

The spies began telling Moses and all the people of Israel what they had seen:

“Yes, these grapes are a sample of the fertile land flowing with milk and honey, but their cities are large and well fortified. The warriors are huge and powerfully built, and we even saw Anakim (giants) there.”

But one of them, Caleb, reassured the people as they stood before Moses. “Let us go up there at once and possess it, for we are well able to take the land!”

“Not against the people we saw,” the other spies said. “They would crush us. And the Anakim are so tall we felt like grasshoppers next to them!”

When you read the story, you will see how the Israelites bawled around all night and worked themselves into a frenzied mob. They wailed that they should have just died in Egypt (ho-hum) and that Moses needed replaced by someone who would lead them back to Egypt (yadda-yadda-yadda).

By this time, Moses and Aaron are on their faces before God and the people. Two spies, Joshua and Caleb, ripped their clothes (a big show of anguish in those days) and tried to reason with the people. But the people responded with talk of stoning them all. Now God shows up on the scene, and He is furious with the people and He wants to kill THEM, but Moses intercedes for Israel. God listens to Moses (read it... he made some really good points), but vows that first generation will not live to see the Promised Land.

Within forty years, the generation that came out of Egypt, died off except for the three leaders, and Joshua and Caleb. Finally, at the end of the book of Deuteronomy, Moses dies (read why) and Joshua leads the second generation of Israel across the Jordan river, and into the Promised land. That was the time Israel initially possessed the land promised to them by God, no matter what others may claim today. (Read the book of Joshua and see his exploits, how the land was divided, and the battles fought to win the land).

After a combined 2,534 years of slavery, Israel was finally awarded national status in 1948, yet 60 years later she is still having to fight giants for her own land. May God help her, and let us all pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!

The point of telling this story is to show it can take half a lifetime just to get to our own “promised land,” and often when we do arrive, there are dragons to slay, giants to kill, and cities to conquer. Nobody said it would be easy, but it is certainly worth it.

If you are battling today to obtain what God has promised, be encouraged... through Christ, “you are well able to take the land.”

God Bless You All,
Pastor Moser
July, 2008


The Homeplace Mission wishes to join all the rest of America on this 4th of July in celebrating our independence. We wish to say “Thank You, God for keeping us free for these 232 years. Please help us to finish our course, and to keep our faith, as a country, in YOU”...Amen.