Perspective 1- Dan Petrak

Perspective 2- Barb Miles

Wandering … For so many years the Israelites wandered away from God’s promises, and at other times followed God’s promises. They seemed to complain to God through Moses more than they praised God!  How disappointing!

For God, He repeatedly provided them with food, land to live on, meat to eat, commandments for them to live by, but they could only be content for a short time.  Throughout these years, God was giving the Israelites a chance of having a relationship with Him.  That relationship mostly brought God’s anger down on them.  God was not playing out a game of chance with them, he was deliberately time after time giving them the chance to find Him.

Think about when we seek Him.  God has opened His heart for us to seek Him at any time.  Once we have done that, we must continue to seek Him through prayer, time spent in His word, and total commitment.  Praise God for His undeniable love!  No more wandering for me!

Perspective 3- Pastor Ron

Wow, did Moses have to put with a lot!  I know God had to show incredible mercy and compassion toward the Israelites, but he is after all……God!  Moses on the other hand is a mere man given the same weaknesses as any other person.  Each time that I read the story of the people wandering through the desert I cannot help but feel sorry for Moses.  It seems like every time he turns around the people are complaining.  We need water, we don’t like the Manna, we want meat, we don’t like the Manna, when will we get there, Benjamin is touching me, Judah just called us names…..okay I made the last couple up.  The truth is they were relentless and I cannot imagine the frustration level of Moses.  He has the loneliest and least appreciated job on the planet.

Yet, when God strikes his sister with leprosy because she and Aaron were complaining about Moses and questioning his authority what does Moses do?  He asked God to have mercy on her and heal her.  When God is ready to destroy the whole nation and start over with Moses what does Moses do?  He begs God to forgive them and He does.  Time after time Moses goes to bat for the people and all he gets in return is grumbling and complaining.  Is it any wonder that at the end of his life it is recorded; “Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt…” (Deuteronomy 34:10-11)

Indeed no ordinary prophet was like Moses, but there was the one who was prophet, priest, and king.  Jesus who as they nailed him to a cross asked His Father to forgive them.  Jesus who took on the sins, complaints, and grumbling of me and you.

Moses put up with a lot – Jesus puts up with even more, yet he has a never-ending love for you and me.

Perspective 4- Karen Kennedy

This was a challenging chapter to read. I keep on thinking that I must be missing something. It’s brutal to see the reality of the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years.  It saddens me and then caused lots of questions to surface.

Nothing was making sense until I read Moses’ farewell speech in Deuteronomy and then most of my anguish left as I read these words:

“You neglected the Rock who had fathered you; you forgot the God who had given you birth.” (Deuteronomy 32:18)

So, the wilderness experience was mostly due to their neglect and disobedience to God. Duh, no wonder it was painful to read about. Sin is ferocious and should cause me to cringe.

Then after this realization, a sweet insight followed: God is and will always be on the throne whether they (or I) acknowledge him or not.  He is and will always be.

“There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heaven to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. The eternal God is your refuge and his everlasting arms are under you.”

“How bless you are, O Israel! Who else is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your protecting shield and your triumphant sword!” (Deuteronomy 34:26-27 and 29)

And to think, this powerful God, who could have dwelt anywhere, decided to dwell among his people as a Father, a protector, a refugee and with Moses, as a friend.

And despite all of Israelites unfaithfulness during the 40 years, God’s faithfulness comes shining through in Moses’ last words.  And for me, I rejoiced that God got the last words in this section!