For forty years - one year for each of the forty days you explored the land - you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have Me against you.

Numbers 14:34

Reading: Numbers 14:1-23, Hebrews 4:1-2

Our main reading for today always make me shiver in fear. There is nothing like having God ‘against’ you. Have you ever experienced that? I have, and its irrefutable.

Did the people have to wander for forty years? No, it was a mere fourteen-day journey from Egypt to the promised land. God made the decision to spend forty years transforming His people from slaves to mature sons and daughters because of their disobedience at the entrance to the promised land. It happened like this…

When spies were sent into the promised land to check it out and report back, the spies convinced the people that they would not be able to take the land because of the strong nations who were already occupying it. Most of the people swallowed this faithless tale – except for Caleb and Joshua – and they rebelled against Moses. This showed how slavish they still were, how quick to mistrust God, how eager to choose fear over faith.

Even though they had seen Him part an ocean and destroy one of the most powerful armies in the world, the people struggled to trust the Lord any further. The Lord then decided that the best way to teach His people faith and help them to become mature, was to have them live in the desert for forty years. There they would learn to trust Him for their daily water and food. He continued to live in their midst providing for them every day and helping them to conquer the nations that attacked them during their Wilderness wanderings - but He delayed their inheritance until they had learned to trust Him.

Being transformed from a slave to a son and daughter will require that you too learn faith and patience. Delays and the hardship of the Wilderness are our loving Heavenly father’s way of getting us to grow up. We can either embrace these delays and hardships as the Lord’s discipline or we can become hardened in our heart and lose our inheritance.


Thank You, Father, that I am Your son/daughter and that You discipline me to mature me. I embrace Your discipline as yet another example of Your love for me.

For the family


Choose a craft from this selection to do with the kids, while explaining the study in an age-appropriate way.