“The Lord spoke to Moses … in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt.” (Numbers 1:1)
The book of Numbers begins with a reference to the Israelites coming out of Egypt, where they had been slaves for many years (see Exodus 1-14). Thirteen months had passed since then, and many miles of wilderness lay ahead before they would enter the land God had promised to their ancestor Abraham (Genesis 13:14-18).
The people had been camped at Sinai for more than a year. And soon God would get them moving again toward the promised land. How would they survive in the wilderness journey ahead? They needed to remember that God had delivered them out of slavery, and that they were God’s people. God had rescued them, and he would not abandon them in the wilderness. God had delivered them and would bring them to the land he had promised.
When life is difficult, we must remember that God has delivered us too. By sending his Son, Jesus Christ, God has freed us from our slavery to sin and death. Jesus died to pay the price for our sin. Through him, we are saved and given new life to enjoy with God forever.
We may experience troubles in life. At times, life can even seem like a desert, but God reminds us that we belong to him because of his salvation in Christ. He has delivered us from sin and death; he will not abandon us in the wilderness. If you find yourself in the wilderness, put your hope in God, who will carry you through.
Lord God, walk with us in the wilderness experiences of life and remind us that because of Jesus we are yours. Amen.