The Promised Land?
The books of Isaiah and Joshua pivot around this idea of the promised land. This future time when things will be different. Both are filled with hope. Hope in God that He’s got the children of Israel even when they mess up.
Their reality, on the other hand, is different. In Isaiah’s case, Israel is doing everything but honoring God. They rely on other nations to protect them. Eventually, they will experience Babylonian captivity in which they will be taken far from their homeland, enslaved, and scattered. In Joshua, the children of Israel come out of 40 years in the wilderness. God sets before them the task to reclaim the land. The occupied land.
It’s interesting I read these books (finished Isaiah and five chapters into Joshua) at this point in my life. I have the hope of a brighter day. The future time in which the things God has placed in my heart will come to pass. But, my reality is far different. I don’t feel any closer to the things I’ve long desired and prayed for.
And yet, God tells me they are mine to have if only I believe.
Belief is hard, y’all. Real hard. Any Christian that tells you otherwise is full of shit.
What ends up happen is that I allow the obstacles, the challenges, the future hope to become bigger than God. The underlying thread in all of this: my life, Isaiah, and Joshua is faith in God. God can and will do the impossible for your sake but, most importantly, for his glory.
In all that I encounter, do I call on him when things are going bad?
Or, when things are going well?
Am I remembering him in the middle of my struggles and triumphs?
That’s the question that all who profess to believe should be asking ourselves. Can I trust in God when my circumstances, while not terrible, say otherwise? Are contrary to what I think they should be or God declared they would be?
Would Moses and the Israelites left Egypt if they had known beforehand that they would travel in the wilderness for 40 years or that the majority of them would not experience it? That’s the rub. I think if we are really honest with ourselves if God told me exactly what was ahead of me, the troubles I would face, the people I would love and leave, I know I wouldn’t have the strength to walk his path.
But, when I’ve trusted in him and did the scary thing, I have known such peace and joy. Joy when I experience the sweetness of God. That feeling of total and complete satisfaction even if momentarily (that human doubt creeps up with a quickness).
You will reach the promised land, my friend.