magaretnahmias

The Price of Panic.

[When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt, ready for battle. Exodus 13:17-18]When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”  So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt, ready for battle.  Exodus  13:17-18

God will send us out of the way to prepare us mentally to face something. They have to unpack the emotional baggage from 4 centuries of slavery. While it is usually preferable to confront right away sometimes, we must build up the courage to face and change ourselves and our thinking. I will often withdraw from the stressor to process how I feel to let the scab over the emotional wound from and heal.   The hardest decision sometimes is whether to confront or avoid a situation. If it is unprofitable and potentially dangerous or causes us to sin, then you should separate. That is why Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:23. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments because you know they produce quarrels, and Matthew 18 Jesus gives the metaphor of cutting body parts as a reference to cutting off sin. 

God knew they had not been equipped for battle with necessary supplies or the right attitude, although they thoughts. o  Also, a longer trip would allow God more opportunities to show his power and provision.  It was only supposed to be 11 days. It was  8 days longer than the direct route by not too much time.

Numbers  13 and 14 tell us of the pivotal moment that led to their 40 years wandering.   Twelve spies went up to scout the land, and Moses asked them to report the land's condition.  Ten out of the twelve said it would be impossible. Only Caleb and Joseph noted otherwise.  The ten spies remark how small they felt next to the land's inhabitants. The response was panic and rebellion.   Caleb and Joshua keep insisting that they could take it but to no avail. The answer was panic and rebellion.  Moses intercedes, and God decides not to kill the people on the spot but rather have them wander in the desert a year for the 40 days the spies spent scouting the land to kill off all the rebellious people, the ten spies who gave the negative repo. This left only Caleb and Joshua.  The people realizing they have sinned change their minds, but Moses warns them God is not with them.


I think the people's feelings were understandable, especially since we believe the majority, whether right or wrong.   Fear is a powerful motivator that can cause withdrawal or act irrationally, as in the Israelites' case here. However, if they had not rebelled, I think the outcome would have been different. God would have helped them work through the fear if they had acknowledged him.  We often mask our true feelings thinking God would be upset by them as long they don't lead to bitterness, hard-heartedness, or outright unbelief; he is ok with them. Psalms are proof of that because they are filled with powerful, sometimes negative, emotions.    They remind us that sometimes our reactions to things can prolong our hardship.   They are resigned to their fate after the failed attempt to correct their mistake without God's help. We do that too; desperate to get out of the situation, we try quick fixes.   When that doesn't work, we are then resigned to our fate.  However, we could have saved time and energy but not rebelling in the first place, So will your journey be 11 days or 40 years? It is up to you.

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