Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wild Beast Feast

Are you anxiously waiting for the doors of your life to fling wide open and for the next chapter to begin? Have you heard God’s voice? Received a divine promise? But, for some reason unknown to you, God is now silent on the subject and you don’t see any progress?

At these times, you may wonder, “Did I hear God right? Wasn’t this something I was supposed to do? Did I do something wrong somewhere along the way?” And then finally, God may start to work, but much more slowly than you anticipated. You may want to scream in frustration, “Can’t we hurry this along?!”

You aren’t alone.

Forty years had passed. Because of disobedience and lack of faith in God, an entire generation, save for two men, had died in the desert without seeing God’s promise fulfilled (Num 32:11-13). After that much time, the remaining Israelites must have waited in what sometimes seemed a futile hope. They followed Moses, wandering aimlessly in the desert, eating a monotonous diet of quail and manna, and grumbling most of the way.

Surely they wondered if God’s wrath would cease once they had served the forty-year life sentence. God had promised their forefathers a land flowing with milk and honey. Would He keep that promise? Or would He go back on His word because they had not fulfilled their end of the covenant to follow His commands and worship only Him? Would He remain faithful when they had not?

And then, suddenly, the Israelites’ new commander Joshua sent word through the Israelite camp that the day they’d been expectantly waiting for had come: “within three days you are to cross this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, to possess it” (Joshua 1:10). Three days later, they crossed the Jordan River on dry land and began the long process of driving out the other pagan nations who inhabited their inheritance.

Yes, you read that right—even when God gave Israel the Promised Land, He didn’t give it to them all at once. At first glance, this may seem like a cruel parent giving a young child a puzzle for a birthday present but then doling out the individual pieces one by one over a period of a lifetime.

But, that’s not the case. God had a very good reason for this plan.

Moses explained, “The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to put an end to them quickly, for the wild beasts would grow too numerous for you” (Deut. 7:22).

Without enough time for the Israelite population to be fruitful and multiply, the wild beasts would have had a field day eating tasty Israelites.

Although you may not see it now, God has His reasons for when He fulfills His promises. His timeline is perfect. It may take years to see Him fully accomplish what He promised you. Or it may take a lifetime where you never see the fulfillment of that promise here on earth.

If you feel frustrated this week because God is not working fast enough for you, change your way of thinking. Maybe, just maybe, He’s taking care of some wild beasts that would cause you harm if He fulfilled His plans for you all at once.


  1. Oh Jennifer, thank you for this. Just what I needed this morning. So good, so true, and so right...

  2. I love these times when God totally knew what was going and the people didn't. And we can read the text and know how He had it figured.

    If only ... I'd remember how cool I think that is when I'm not reading the text but navigating His detours and waiting for His delays in my life.

  3. Unfortunately, I'm not too cool, myself, when navigating detour after detour...after detour. I want to blow my horn incessently and ask what is the holdup! Then, God will do or say something and I'll feel so humbled and sheepish, I want to permanently remove the horn so I don't make the same impatient mistake again.