It took the Israelites 40 years to travel from Egypt to Canaan. What were the problems faced that caused a journey that would normally take a few weeks to 40 years?
When Israel was at Mount Sinai, they were only about three weeks away from Canaan. The problem is that they traveled right up to the edge of it, and instead of trusting in God to give them victory in the land, they sent twelve spies into the land and tried to trust in their own understanding.
They became worried about the giants in the land, that they could not win the battle against them. They counted God out of the equation, doubted they could do it on their own. They only concern themselves with if they could win these battles on their own. But God wanted them to trust in him.
When they saw 6 presence come down on the mountain, shaking it with earthquakes, the lightning and thunder in his voice, the fire, thick clouds, and smoke, that should have been more than enough for them to trust in him to win every battle.
But they doubted in their hearts, and they spoke from doubt instead of faith. They operated in doubt, trusting the word of ten of the twelve spies instead of God’s power. Because they doubted in God and tried to trust in themselves, God rejected them from entering Canaan.
They spent 40 years in the wilderness, learning to trust in God when there was no food, no water, and a host of other issues they faced. The problem is that sleeve generation never learned to become its own nation and trust in God alone.
They suffered everything from God’s judgment and punishment for not trusting in his promises, not trusting in his provision, and looking to their own limited resources. They never learned to trust in God.
This is why only two people from that entire generation entered the Promised Land, Joshua and Caleb. They were the only ones out of the twelve spies who had the faith to trust God for victory over the Canaanites. But no one listened to them.
Joshua became a military leader who followed Moses in leadership, and Caleb became a mighty warrior. Disbelief was the reason the first generation of Israelites traipsed around in the wilderness for 40 years and still did not receive God’s blessing in the Promised Land.
It is a message for all of us who believe in Jesus. We must not doubt his power, his word, or his promises. We must stand in faith and believe against all doubt that he is he says he is and can do what he says he can do. If we don’t believe, we will find ourselves traipsing around in the wilderness. We won’t see his promises fulfilled. We must have faith.