The Journey of Israel

Not all of the twelve spies adopted a negative attitude. Joshua and Caleb were different. They were full of faith. Caleb was confident in the Lord that they were able to possess the Promised Land (Num. 13:30). The Lord said that Caleb possessed “another spirit, and hath followed me fully” (Num. 14:24). Caleb and Joshua, therefore, would be allowed to possess the Promised Land in time.

The key to inheriting the promises of God for our lives is to please the Lord (Num. 17:28). If we please the Lord and He delights in us, He will fulfill all of His promises. We should always seek to do the things that please the Lord.

The Lord’s punishment for the disobedience of the Israelites was that they would not enter into the Promised Land, but would die in the wilderness. The whole generation would wander in the wilderness for forty years and then die (Number 14:29-34). The only two people from the generation (above the age of twenty) that came out of Egypt who entered the Promised Land were Joshua and Caleb, the two faithful spies.

There were ten main trials or tests in the wilderness, and the children of Israel failed every one of them (Num. 14:22). It is very important for us to study the ten trials of the children of Israel in the wilderness because we will also be faced with the same trials in our Christian walk. Every trial should be a steppingstone to greater heights in God. However, because the children of Israel failed their tests, the tests became stumblingblocks that hindered them from moving on with God. Therefore we must seek to pass the trials and tests that we experience so that we will succeed in life.

Numbers 32 records the sad account of the 2 ½ tribes who chose their inheritance on the wrong side of the Jordan River. The real promises and blessings of God were across the Jordan River, but these tribes were content to remain where they were. They settled for second best because they had many cattle and thought that the land east of the Jordan River was a good place for them. Their hearts were attached to the things of this world. Years later when God judged the nation of Israel, it was these same 2 ½ tribes which were the first to be taken into captivity.

One of the heartaches of leadership is that people determine the level of inheritance they receive. Not everyone in the Body of Christ obtains God’s best for their lives. We want to strive for God’s best for our lives and not stop short, even as Paul said in Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Moses gave his last sermons to Israel at the plains of Moab. He then ascended Mount Pisgah and beheld the Promised Land (Deut. 34:1-3). In Deuteronomy 34:4-6, Moses died and God Himself buried the body of Moses.

Crossing the Jordan

The crossing of Jordan was a major turning point in Israel’s journey. It was a new day for them in every respect. The old generation and leader had died and a new generation and leader had arisen. The wilderness tests were over and the Promised Land awaited them. Crossing Jordan was a major step toward their ultimate destination, Mount Zion.

We read in Joshua 3:15-16 that the waters of the Jordan overflowed in the time of harvest all the way to the city of Adam. The fact that the waters of Jordan covered the city of Adam when the children of Israel crossed the Jordan signifies that the crossing of the Jordan is a spiritual symbol of our sinful Adamic nature being dealt with whereby we become “dead to sin” (Rom. 6:6). Therefore, the crossing of the Jordan represents the experience of being “dead to sin,” whereby our old Adamic nature is crucified with Christ.

After the Israelites left Egypt, they were out of Egypt, but the love of Egypt was not out of them. However, after they crossed the Jordan River, the Lord purified them of the love of Egypt. God broke the power of Egypt over the Israelites at the Jordan River (Jos. 5:8- 9). They no longer wanted to return to Egypt, which represents this world. God did something in their hearts.

Romans 6:6 says that we need to “know” that we have been crucified with Christ and are dead to sin. Many years ago, the Lord was dealing with many issues in my life, speaking to me about being “dead to sin.” One morning while I was in my office, I had a vision of Christ upon the cross with His back toward me. The Spirit of God lifted me up to hang on the cross with Christ. I could see all of the people speaking against Christ. I also saw the veil that was rent in the Temple when Jesus died. Then the vision stopped.

Out of my innermost being came the words from Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ.” At the moment, I knew that my old man had been crucified with Christ. I understood that when Jesus died nearly two thousand years ago, He not only bore my sins, but He also dealt with my old nature. Strength, victory, and indescribable peace filled my heart.

By no means am I implying that you must have a vision or experience like mine. However, it is important that you experience the reality of Romans 6:6 and have a revelation that your sinful nature has been crucified. That revelation will help you resist the temptations of this world and the works of the carnal nature every day of your life.

After we experience Romans 6:6, typified in the journey of Israel by the crossing of the Jordan River, we have power over sin and we no longer have to serve sin. That does not mean that we become infallible or incapable of sinning, but simply that we have new power and strength to overcome our sin nature.