Hope of the Promised Land
Written by: Elly Gilbert
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See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you
safely to the place I have prepared for you.
- Exodus 23:20 NLT
When my family takes a trip, I’m usually the one in charge of most of the planning. With some input from the rest of my crew, I select the accommodations, the activities, and the route we’ll take. I don’t always choose the route that Google maps tells me is shortest. Those routes are usually full of long stretches of interstate highway, and I don’t think we’ve ever traveled on one of those without having to sit in standstill traffic at some point. Usually, I pick a route that provides a scenic detour through a lower traffic spot. Sometimes, when we start to see a slowdown, I’ll use an app on my phone to locate an alternate route that we can take. We may move slower, but we keep moving!
Consider the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land that the Israelites took. They certainly traveled a pathway that was not the fastest route, yet they could rely on their hope in God’s Promised Land to keep them moving along the way. It took them forty long years to make the trip.
In Genesis, God made a covenant with Abraham to give a specific piece of land to his descendants. The land eluded the people for many generations due to hardships and sometimes the faithless behavior of the Israelites. Even under the leadership of Moses and the demonstration of God’s power through many signs and wonders, the trip was not an easy one. Keeping their hope of the Promised Land alive required repeated reassurances from the Lord.
Frequently, the Israelites wanted to give up and return to the familiarity of their bondage in Egypt. I can almost hear them asking the age old question every parent dreads to hear on a long trip: “Are we there yet?” However, God continued to provide hope for His people. His messages to them through Moses gave them instruction and inspiration. In Exodus 23:20, God tells them, “See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you.”
What hope and comfort those words brought to them and to us now! Knowing that God prepares the way for us still, that He cares so deeply for us that He will protect us, should help us when we are trying to find our way through life. When we are struggling, when we don’t know which route to take, and when we feel like giving up, we can call upon Him to show us His mercy and renew our hope. Though our journey to the Promised Land is different than it was for the Israelites, we serve the same unchanging God. Traffic may slow us down, and obstacles may require new routes, but as long as we keep moving toward Him, we can trust that His hope will continue to sustain us.
1. What is your response when your planned route gets disrupted with challenges? How can you refocus on the hope God provides?
2. How have you felt the protection of God in your life? Tell your story to a friend to provide them with hope!
Father, we thank You for the protection You provide us as we journey through life. Help us stay focused on Your promises of hope when we struggle. Remind us of Your faithfulness and goodness as we move closer to You.
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