“And you shall remember that the LORD your God
led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness,
to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart,
whether you would keep His commandments or not.
So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger,
and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know,
that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone;
but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.”
God allows us to suffer difficulties and hardships for a purpose. God led the children of Israel to wander through the wilderness for forty years in order to humble them and test them. When they refused to obey Him and enter the Promised Land, the Israelites revealed that they did not really know Him. If they had, they would have had more faith.
God spent the next forty years testing the hearts of His people to see if they were prepared for His next assignment. Testing reveals what is in your heart and produces a robust faith (James 1:3, 12). God allowed His people to hunger so they could experience His provision and develop a deeper level of trust in Him. As the people walked with God they came to understand that their lives depended upon His Word. They learned that God’s Word was the most important thing they had.
After depending on God for forty years while living in the desert, the people listened when God spoke, and they believed. When they finally entered the Promised Land and waged war against their enemies, the Israelites knew that God’s word meant life and death. They were prepared to listen to Him, and as a result He led them to an astounding victory. Is God presently testing you in some area of your life? What has His testing revealed? Have you become bitter toward God because of where He has led you? Or have you come to trust Him more as a result of what you have gone through?
Excerpts republished with permission from Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group.