And they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters. – Exodus 15:27
The Israelites had been miraculously released from their bondage in Egypt. Now they were following Moses on a long and difficult journey to the Promised Land. It must have been a wonderful relief, when after days of traveling, they reached a beautiful oasis of water pools and palm trees. I am sure many of them might have thought they had reached their promised destination, or maybe some were happy with where they had landed and wanted to remain. As they were lounging around the water, a few of them might have engaged in some imaginary planning. “We’ll put the hotel over there, the housing development right next to the golf course over there,” or something similar appropriate to the culture at that time.
But their sojourn in that paradise was temporary. They were not where God wanted them to stay, and after a time they were instructed to leave and face the barren wilderness once again. It must have been very hard to leave that beautiful place behind.
For many of us today, we are living where we want to be. However, it may not be the place where God wants us to remain. One of the great lessons we can learn from the Hebrew’s wilderness adventure, is that it is so important to be able to move with God wherever He chooses to lead us. He knows the future and He knows what is best for us. We all need to grow spiritually to the place where we can leave the beauty and security of our comfort zones, and follow Him to where He wants us to be in order to fulfill His will for our lives; and in some cases, to protect us from hazards waiting for us in a future that only He can see.
If we are too entrenched in our oasis, He may have to allow some adverse circumstances to jolt us away from the old in order to help propel us into a new beginning.
It’s important to not fight against what’s happening to us when we are called to leave the familiar behind. Pray for the ability to adjust to change, adapt and be flexible. Flexibility and a willingness to adjust to change are qualities God wants to see developed in His children. These things only make it easier for us to endure the ever changing landscape of this sin ravaged world.
Copyright 2020 by H. D. Shively
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