“How long [must I endure] this evil community that keeps complaining about Me? I have heard the Israelites’ complaints that they make against Me.” Numbers 14:27
If you’ve ever taken a road trip with small children, you’ve probably heard the question, “Are We There Yet?” The excitement builds as you tell them about all the wonderful and exciting adventures that await them at your final destination. The first “Are We There Yet?” is filled with exuberance as children anticipate a speedy arrival. You are happy because they are happy. Everybody’s happy. The second “Are we there yet?” has far less vigor and joy as the destination seems farther away. Before you know it, there is whining and complaining. A few fights break out among the children. They begin to wonder if you know where you are going, and they want to go back home. The bathroom breaks become more frequent. You pass out threats and wish everyone would go to sleep so there can be peace and quiet. And the answer still remains, “No, we aren’t there yet.”
So it was for forty years as the children of Israel wandered through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. They whined and complained saying, “This is too hard, I’m hungry, and I’m thirsty! Manna again?” They rebelled against Moses and Aaron. Aaron and Miriam rebelled against Moses. The Levites rebelled against Moses. The community conspired to go back to Egypt after the negative report from the ten spies. They constantly, and ultimately, rebelled against God. Moses spent much of his time interceding on their behalf as the judgment of God was imminent. God repeatedly showed His faithfulness to His Covenant and to His People, but the question still remained, “Are We There Yet.” Many died in the wilderness. As a matter of fact, everyone included in the first census (Num. 1-3), except Joshua and Caleb, failed to enter the Promised Land.
This journey with God may often seem like a journey through the wilderness. God makes it clear that He will take you to that place of promise. That is where you fulfill His purpose. You will be blessed, and your life will be a blessing to others. That place of promise can be a marriage and family committed to God, a life on mission with God, a business that operates by God’s standard, a place of influence at work, or simply a place of maturity in your walk with Christ. How often do we find ourselves complaining and whining about this or that? We begin to say, “It’s too hard. It’s taking too long.” We may even discover in our journey that complaining and rebellion go hand in hand. God will always be faithful to do what He says He will do. The question is, “Will He accomplish it through you?” or “Will your faithfulness die out before you experience His promise?” Trust God in the wilderness, and believe Him all the way to your promised land.
Is your life marked by the question, “Are We There Yet?”
Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the sheep under His care. Today, if you hear His voice:8 “Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah, as on that day at Massah in the wilderness where your fathers tested Me; they tried Me, though they had seen what I did. (Ps. 95:6-9)
By Abigail George
Passages for Further Study: Numbers 11-26