Forty years in the wilderness… Is there more than this?

Forty years – it’s such a long time. We look back. We try to remember what happened down through the years. We’ve forgotten so much more than we, still, remember. Have we forgotten the Lord? or Do we, still, remember him? We ask about our remembering and our forgetting, but there are more important questions for us to ask: Has the Lord forgotten us, or does he, still, remember us? Go back to the story of Israel’s forty years in the wilderness. It’s a long story. It’s told for us in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. For almost all of the older generation, their journey ended in the wilderness. Was their journey a waste of time? or Was there something else, something we should never forget? There was the younger generation. They entered the promised land. What are we to learn from the story of the older generation and the younger generation? Some of us can look back to forty years ago. We can say, “The Lord has been good to us. He has led us in his way.” Forty years ago, we were the younger generation. Now, we are the older generation. What’s been happening in the past forty years? Whatever we look at it, there’s been a lot that’s changed. Life is very different now. We look in the mirror, and we see how much we’ve changed, In our ever-changing world, is there anything that’s unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable? Yes. There is. God’s love is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable. He loved us forty years ago. He’s loved us in all the years that have come and gone since that time.. He hasn’t stopped loving us. He’s kept on loving us. Does his love belong to the past? or Is it, also, for the future? Will God stop loving us? No. He ‘ll never stop loving. His love is everlasting. Whatever we may say about our life’s journey – happy memories, painful memories, may we never forget what the Lord keeps on saying to us, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3) Beyond our wilderness, there is God’s everlasting love.

Here’s a hymn to encourage you to keep on pressing on with the Lord and for him.

Let us press on with the Lord – beyond our wilderness wanderings, on to his full salvation.

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