I wonder if the Israelites ever caught themselves wondering about the Promised Land. They were so accustomed to Egypt that the thought of something different must have been intimidating. After all, we do most of life from a point of reference and perform daily functions because we have a pattern of memory for it.
So how were they empowered to besiege and conquer the fortified Jericho?
Wilderness. The place of death and deliverance. Consequences and commandments. Miracles and manna.
They came to know the Word as sovereign. They trusted it for protection, loved it for provision, followed it for direction, honoured it for miracles and bowed to it for forgiveness. The constant presence of the pillar taught the lessons of trust and obey, grace and mercy, repentance and forgiveness, faith and restoration. The Israelites encountered their Gracious Redeemer through the lessons acquired in the dessert.
As they approached the land of promise and saw giants occupying their turf, the truths and covenants that were kneaded, pressed and fired into their hearts gave them assurance and confidence. It was their identity as a people of God which propelled their obedience.
In our season of “unfamiliar” we remember the preparation. As we abandon routine, we seek the comforter. As we encounter distraction, we stay the course. As we wonder about the unknown, we ask Jesus to become our point of reference. As we face the giants, we wait for command. We are equipped. We are armed. We are warriors.