THE LONG HARD ROAD
Israel has been on the move after leaving Egypt. Here is a list of their encampments:
These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD: and these are their journeys according to their goings out. And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians. For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments. And the children of Israel removed from Rameses, and pitched in Succoth.
Etham, which is in the edge of the wilderness.
Pihahiroth, which is before Baalzephon:
and they pitched before Migdol.
Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there.
by the Red sea.
in the wilderness of Sin.
Rephidim, where was no water for the people to drink.
the wilderness of Sinai.
the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh.
mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom.
Ijeabarim, in the border of Moab.
the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo.
the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.
by Jordan, from Bethjesimoth even unto Abelshittim in the plains of Moab.
Num 33:1-49 (KJV)
I am beginning to understand. After 25 years in the auto industry, I was forced to take contract employment in other areas of industry. As a designer, I spent the last five years traveling on short assignments. But I began traveling with the U.S. Army many years ago. Here are the homes I have known:
Fort Knox KY
Fort Sill OK
With R&R to Bangkok Thailand
And R&R to Honolulu HI
Fire Base 6, Dac To Vietnam
Fort Leonard Wood, MO
Lake Orion, MI
Windsor Locks CT
San Antonio TX
Lake City, TN
Grand Prairie TX
Fort Wayne, IN
I am living with my father now, after two years of unemployment. I have learned the logistics of moving, cleaning and cooking in motels. In each community I have to find stores for all needs. Banking, worship, and mail have to move with the new jobs. This job offers me a permanent assignment and home for the first time in 30 years. I am planning to build a life of service in the church and community here. It requires some planning and perseverance. Life for a moving society had to be a long trial. Israel had their trials in daily life but had warfare to conduct too. Even in victory it required caution.
And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying,
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit. But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them. Num 33:50-56 (KJV)
They were warned to avoid the inhabitants and their ways. God has judged these people, and their idolatry has condemned them. Israel too will be condemned by the same judgment if they fall in the same sins. God offers them the land and it’s boundaries.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan; (this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof:) Then your south quarter shall be from the wilderness of Zin along by the coast of Edom, and your south border shall be the outmost coast of the salt sea eastward: And your border shall turn from the south to the ascent of Akrabbim, and pass on to Zin: and the going forth thereof shall be from the south to Kadeshbarnea, and shall go on to Hazaraddar, and pass on to Azmon: And the border shall fetch a compass from Azmon unto the river of Egypt, and the goings out of it shall be at the sea. And as for the western border, ye shall even have the great sea for a border: this shall be your west border. And this shall be your north border: from the great sea ye shall point out for you mount Hor: From mount Hor ye shall point out your border unto the entrance of Hamath; and the goings forth of the border shall be to Zedad: And the border shall go on to Ziphron, and the goings out of it shall be at Hazarenan: this shall be your north border. And ye shall point out your east border from Hazarenan to Shepham: And the coast shall go down from Shepham to Riblah, on the east side of Ain; and the border shall descend, and shall reach unto the side of the sea of Chinnereth eastward: And the border shall go down to Jordan, and the goings out of it shall be at the salt sea: this shall be your land with the coasts thereof round about. Num 34:1-12 (KJV)
I hope to find some real estate to build on one day. I hope to bound a state or national park for hikes in natural surroundings. Water is nice for boating, and perhaps a small airport in the area would help. Wilsonville has all this now so I have a good start even in my first apartment.
And Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying, This is the land which ye shall inherit by lot, which the LORD commanded to give unto the nine tribes, and to the half tribe: For the tribe of the children of Reuben according to the house of their fathers, and the tribe of the children of Gad according to the house of their fathers, have received their inheritance; and half the tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance: The two tribes and the half tribe have received their inheritance on this side Jordan near Jericho eastward, toward the sunrising. Num 34:13-15 (KJV)
Moses has granted these tribes their wish to live on the near side of the Jordan River. God details who gets to divide the land of the Canaanites.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, These are the names of the men which shall divide the land unto you: Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun. And ye shall take one prince of every tribe, to divide the land by inheritance. And the names of the men are these: Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. And of the tribe of the children of Simeon, Shemuel the son of Ammihud. Of the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon. And the prince of the tribe of the children of Dan, Bukki the son of Jogli. The prince of the children of Joseph, for the tribe of the children of Manasseh, Hanniel the son of Ephod. And the prince of the tribe of the children of Ephraim, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan. And the prince of the tribe of the children of Zebulun, Elizaphan the son of Parnach. And the prince of the tribe of the children of Issachar, Paltiel the son of Azzan. And the prince of the tribe of the children of Asher, Ahihud the son of Shelomi. And the prince of the tribe of the children of Naphtali, Pedahel the son of Ammihud. These are they whom the LORD commanded to divide the inheritance unto the children of Israel in the land of Canaan. Num 34:16-29 (KJV)
It has been a long road so far. But even that will be only a short season compared to the heavenly home. We are all being prepared for a far greater inheritance on the other side.
We should prepare to wage a good warfare for those who are still waiting for their inheritance. Will we fight on for others when we have received our comfort? We should remember to pray for those who are in the battle after we have seen our victory on this side of Jordan.
Aaron died on the march, and Moses too will pass before crossing over. In my life I have left my mother and wife in the past. The last years have been hard at times. I am glad to see relief after all these hard years. But I cannot rest yet. We have friends in crisis now. They have battles ahead before they come into their own victories. I have to remember to join in prayer with them in their time of battle. I will need their encouragement to avoid the temptations and traps that can still disturb my victory too. We will cross the Jordan together.