After the people of Israel had crossed safely through the Red Sea, they celebrated their deliverance. Then Moses led them on the journey to the Promised Land. It could have been fairly short, less than a month. The distance from Egypt to the banks of the Jordan near Jericho is about 400 km. But it took them 40 years to get there! The Israelites needed to learn how to listen to God before they were ready to enter the Promised Land.
A teacher once gave our class a pop quiz, “It’s easy,” he said. “I want you to do it as quickly as you can but make sure that you read the instructions first.” Of course most of us tried to race through it as quickly as possible. Then giggles and groans began to break out. Few of us had listened. The end of the instructions read, “Once you have read these instructions, just sit there.”
It takes a lifetime to learn how to listen carefully to the voice of God. Even then we often seem a bit deaf. Along the way God grants places of rest and refreshment.
Patient God, teach me to listen to your voice and to do what is right. Amen. — KW