Have you ever faced a situation that seemed like it wouldn’t end? Worse, have you ever prayed for immediate deliverance, only to feel like God took His time responding? Times like these make us resort to drastic measures, including our own solutions. When Job lost his family, fortune, and health, and God seemed indifferent, then his wife devised an escape route: “Curse God and die” (Job 2:8, New Living Translation). Sometimes, we get so anxious to be problem-free that we take the wrong exit.
The Israelites reminded me of the dangers of our own solutions. Prior to the verses cited above, Moses had disclosed the punishment for those who doubted God: all of the Israelites twenty years old or older would not enter the promised land (except Joshua and Caleb). It was God’s will for them to endure a tough season, and as supporting evidence, His presence (the Ark of the Covenant) remained outside of the promised land. The Israelites were so anxious to be delivered that they took matters into their own hands – they decided to enter the promised land in their own strength. What a disaster! When they tried to enter the promised land, their enemies attacked and chased them away.
I think this story is an illustrative sermon of Solomon’s words, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5, New Living Translation). I don’t know about you, but I’d rather endure the storm with Jesus on my ship than escape with my own life preserver. If you’re in a tough spot, wait on God, for He’ll always grant permanent relief!
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free (John 8:36, New Living Translation).