devotions from Jefferson Vann # 2325
Num 20:14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom: “This is what your brother Israel says: You know all the hardship that we have encountered:
Num 20:15 how our fathers went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time. And the Egyptians treated us and our fathers cruelly .
Num 20:16 And when we cried to Yahveh, he heard our voice and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt. And here we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory.
Num 20:17 Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, or drink water from a well. We will go along the King’s Highway. We will not turn aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory.”
Num 20:18 But Edom said to him, “You will not pass through, or else I will come out with the sword against you.”
Num 20:19 And the people of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the highway, and if we drink of your water, I and my livestock, then I will pay for it. Let me only pass through on foot, nothing more.”
Num 20:20 But he said, “You will not pass through.” And Edom came out against them with a large army and with a strong force.
Num 20:21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel turned away from him.
The Israelites had no quarrel with their relatives — the Edomites (descendants of Esau), and had no desire to take their land. But the Edomites refused their request to simply walk through Edom. This choice would set the Israelites back, and there seemed no reason for it.
During our lives we will often face times of meaningless hardship, and we will struggle to understand those times. We have to trust God — that he is with us — even when our plans do not work out. It is all part of the journey.
FATHER, in those times when we do not understand and our way seems to be unnecessarily blocked, give us the wisdom to continue to trust you, and keep walking, no matter how bad we feel.