He has watched over your journey . . . and you have not lacked anything. Deuteronomy 2:7
You might start your journey in the southwest United States in a dusty town called Why, Arizona. Heading cross-country would take you through Uncertain, Texas. Bearing northeast, you’d make a rest stop in Dismal, Tennessee. Ultimately, you’d reach your destination—Panic, Pennsylvania. These are real places across the landscape of America, though not likely a trip you’d ever choose to take.
Sometimes this is exactly what the journey of life feels like. We easily identify with the Israelites’ tough life in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 2:7)—life can be hard. But do we see the other parallels? We create our own itinerary, turning from God’s way (1:42–43). Like the Israelites, we often grumble about getting our needs met (Numbers 14:2). In our daily fretting, we likewise doubt God’s purposes (v. 11). The story of the Israelites is repeated over and over in our own.
God assures us that if we follow His path, He’ll deliver us into a far better place than Dismal. He’ll provide and we’ll lack nothing we really need (Deuteronomy 2:7; Philippians 4:19). Yet as much as we already know this, we often fail to do it. We need to follow God’s roadmap.
It’s a bit more of a drive, but another six hours by car would take you from the town of Panic to the place known as Assurance, West Virginia. If we let God direct our paths (Psalm 119:35), we’ll journey in joy with Him at the wheel—blessed assurance indeed!
What are some of the ways you’ve followed your own roadmap instead of God’s? What have you been fretting about?
Faithful God, help me rest in the assurance of Your direction.
As Moses led the Israelites into Canaan, they had to pass through the lands occupied by the Edomites and Moabites. Both nations were hostile to them, yet God forbade them from fighting them or taking over their lands because they were relatives. The Edomites were Esau’s descendants (Genesis 36:9) and the Moabites were Lot’s descendants (19:30–38). As some two million Israelites moved across Edomite territory, God even ordered them to compensate the Edomites, their cousins, for the food and water they consumed (Deuteronomy 2:2–6). God’s grace for nations hostile to His people is seen in how He made provisions for the Edomites (and the Egyptians) in the Mosaic law, allowing them to worship Him too: “Do not despise an Edomite, for the Edomites are related to you. Do not despise an Egyptian, because you resided as foreigners in their country” (23:7).