When the people of Israel left the land of Egypt, the land of captivity. According to Exodus 13:17-18, it says that, And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near;
For God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.
That is to say, it was God who purposely leads them through the wilderness as a result of what was said above. Meaning that, as well, we that had equally left Satan’s camp of bondage must equally pass through the wilderness before we get to the promised land.
It means that those who are trying to use a shortcut to avoid passing through the wilderness are joking or daydreaming. Or those that teach that to pass through the wilderness is a curse. No, we must all have a wilderness experience.
What is important therefore is our ability to learn from the wilderness experience of the people of Israel, to avoid the mistake they made that resulted in their carcasses falling throughout the wilderness.
The first fact we must learn is that the people of Israel, after they left Egypt, must cross the Red Sea before they entered the wilderness. Please, read the story in Exodus 14.
To cross the Red Sea signifies a turning of their back against going back to Egypt forever. We in turn must equally turn our back against the kingdom of Satan forever. That is, we must burn the bridge between us and the kingdom of darkness.
The first lesson we should learn is with respect to what happened to them soon after they crossed the Red Sea. According to Exodus 15:22-27, they were met with three days of thirst and the bitter water of Marah.
The purpose of the bitter water experience was to prove them, even though they failed the test. Assuming we are to met with bitter water experience in our own journey, are we going to pass the test or fail like the people of Israel did?
To begin reading the entire book of Exodus, the book of Numbers, and the book of Deuteronomy to pick and learn one by one what Israel encountered in their own journey may be hard for us.
To this end, we shall be looking at 1 Corinthians chapter 10 where the apostle Paul summarized for us their wilderness experience. According to 1 Corinthians 10:5, we are told that with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
If they were overthrown in the wilderness because God was not well pleased with them, we must therefore strive to ensure that God is pleased with us. For one thing, Hebrew 12:14 told us to “ Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”.
Another lesson we should learn is that another reason they were overthrown in the wilderness was that they lusted after evil things. The book of 1 Corinthians 10:6 says, Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
In addition, 1 Corinthians 10:7 equally warned that we should Neither be idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
Another crucial lesson can be seen in 1 Corinthians 10:8 which warned us that we should neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
The issue of fornication is what the devil is using to cage many people, even the so-called men, and women of God. If twenty-three thousand of the people of Israel were destroyed in one day because of fornication, then we need to take precautions so as not to be destroyed as well.
The next lesson is the implication of tempting Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:9 warned, saying that neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Obviously, many people are tempting Christ by their actions and lifestyles.
What about murmuring as 1 Corinthians 10:10 warned that we should neither murmur as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
According to 1 Corinthians 10:11, it says that all these things happened unto the people of Israel, for example: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world have come.
One other crucial lesson we must learn is what Hebrew 4:2 said. According to that verse, it says that for unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Do you see why we must endeavor to build our faith?
If we fail in the wilderness as most of the people of Israel that left Egypt to fail, maybe because we failed to learn from what happened to the people of Israel. What is it going to be? Shalom!