Suggested Reading: Deuteronomy 1:1-8
The LORD our God said to us in Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites.”—Deuteronomy 1:6-7
What’s your Horeb? For the Israelites it was the physical mountain and place where they were encamped until God commanded them to move ahead and gave their marching orders.
You might remember they had been encamped there forty years at that point, because previously they had been disobedient, rebelled against the Lord, did not trust what he had revealed to them nor the word of the two scouts, Caleb and Joshua who had assured them they could overcome their enemies and take possession of the land. But instead they decided to listen to the ten who were sure they would be eaten alive and overcome by their enemies. Their rebellion and grumbling were so severe God told them none of them except Caleb and Joshua would live to set foot in the promised land. Now, forty years later it was time to move forward. This new generation would not be able to avoid their enemies, would not be able to avoid the very thing their ancestors were afraid of doing, would need to trust God’s word and promises; to trust him above any feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, or self-doubt.
Eventually we will have to do the things we have been trying to avoid. Some things cannot be put off forever and when that happens, when there is no way around doing the hard stuff there are some things we can know and should hold onto. Just like God did not command the Israelites to move on from their beloved mountain without a plan, covering, or divine power, he will not move us from our mount Horeb’s—the places we have found comfort, solace, familiarity, security, and shelter without a plan, without covering, or without divine power. God does not throw us to the wolves or push us out to be consumed, defeated, eaten alive or overcome, but because he knows it’s time to move out of comfortability and familiarity if we are to experience and live in his promises for us. There is no victory at the end when there is no testing or trusting in the promises of God and that his promises apply to us also.
The people did not miss what Moses was saying. It did not go over their heads, but they heard loud and clear. They understood God was not sending them into the arms of their enemy to experience defeat, he was sending them so their enemy could see they were the children of God, destined by God, sent by God, empowered by God, actively securing the promises of God, and would not be denied or defeated.
What a powerful word of encouragement and assurance it is for us today, ”Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them” (Deut. 1:8). In other words, “Go, it’s a done deal! The land is already yours your future was secured before you were even born or thought of!”
Mount Horeb’s serve the purposes of God. They may even be the places God renews us, restores us, strengthens us, heals us, instructs us, fills us, and comforts us; but they are not the places we are to remain. Eventually God will command us to move on and move forward. There may be unfamiliarity, challenges, enemies to face and overcome, inner doubt, insecurity, and uncomfortableness but God will never send us where he has not already gone before us, fought our battles, and prophesied the outcome. Let’s Pray
God, how easy it is to become comfortable right where we are, so easy to make our Mount Horeb’s our forever place but just as you commanded the Israelites to move out and be confident you command us also. May we look to you, trust you, be empowered in you and confident of what you have prophesied and spoken over us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Reflection: Are you encouraged knowing God provides a place for you to rest or be renewed, to heal or strengthen before he moves you to the next place in life?