Obstacles Along The Way
“And they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, and the people became impatient (depressed, much discouraged), because [of the trials] of the way.” Numbers 21:4 Amplified Bible
If you have ever felt frustrated in your life, because it did not seem as though the Word was working or that your prayers were not being answered, then you can learn something from the Israelites in the wilderness. Consider that in Numbers 21 they were on their way to the Promised Land. That was the land that the Lord had already prepared for them. We know it was a land rich will all they needed for life and life with abundance. It was the land of milk and honey. It was already established and provided for them, they simply had to go and possess it. Well on their way to possess it they intended to go through the land of Edom and sought permission for the King of Edom to pass only pass through. They would not delay or consume from the land and they would pay for any water that their animals drank while passing through. The King of Edom denied them passage and threatened them with the sword should they attempt to cross the borders of Edom.
That is what led to the verse that we see above. They had to journey around Edom and it was one more delay in achieving their goal of the possessing the Promised Land. As a result, we see that they became impatient, which led to depression and general discouragement in the hearts of the people due to the trials that they were facing “on the way” to the Promised Land. If you read on you will see the hardship their impatience brought upon themselves.
With this example in mind think about your own life. You see we have a vastly better covenant with God than they ever could have had. They had a Promised Land before them to possess, which was strictly a natural place with physical benefits to them and their heritage, but it was nothing more than a foreshadowing of what we get as children of God under His New Covenant through Jesus. We have more than just a land of milk and honey; we have the full and rich promises of all of the Word in our lives. We have the fullness of all of His promises even for healing, financial needs, emotional needs, family and marital needs and so on. These are the promises that we have already established and prepared for us through Jesus. They are in the spiritual realm and potential reality in our physical realm dependant upon our faith and obedience to possess them.
Whatever your need is today, Jesus has already provided it and you have to possess it. You do this by standing on the Word and speaking the truth of the Word with a heart of praise evidenced by your words of praise even before you see the victories. But what happened to the Israelites is what often happens to us. On our way to the promises, an obstacle is thrown in our way. Satan wants to steal your promises and he realizes that if he can throw obstacles in front of you, causing you to alter your path toward the promises that are already yours, there is a good chance that we like the Israelites will get impatient. We will wonder why the Word isn’t working for us when in reality we are walking around an obstacle. The Promised Land did not disappear when Israel had to go around Edom, and that should have remained their goal and vision. It was there, just a few more steps away. Likewise, when the enemy throws obstacles in front of you, your promises do not disappear, they are still yours; you simply have to keep moving in faith despite the trials on the way. Set aside impatience which gives way to discouragement and depression. Determine to keep walking toward the promises. Continue on your way with praise in spite of the obstacles and you will possess all the great and wonderful gifts of the Lord in your life!
J Todd Hostetler