sermon: Wilderness Wanderings (Part Two)

John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 15-Apr-20; Sermon #1539-AM; 78 minutes

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Comparing the spiritual trek to God's kingdom by His people to the physical trek of the children of Israel in the Sinai, there are three factors: (1.) God required the ancients to walk physically, while His people walk spiritually; (2.) God required the ancient Israelites, as well as His people today, to maintain relationships during their trek; (3.) God required the ancients, as well has His people today, to discipline themselves to stop sinning. Satan's world provided the environment of the children of Israel, just as it does to God's children today. Like ancient Israel, God's people feel bewildered about the direction of God's leadership; some, feeling overwhelmed by uncertainty, even desiring to return to the sinful world. In many ways, the spiritual journey of God's people is more difficult than the physical one of the ancient Israelites, requiring as it does more resources to navigate. The established churches have no clue about God's plan and hence whirl in doctrinal chaos. God's called-out ones have a reliable roadmap, consisting of the Bible. After their unique, personal calling (John 6:44), God looks for His people to lovingly submit to His way of life as He prepares them to be priests. Just as the ancient Israelites ate manna, so God's people consume the spiritual food of God's word, realizing that God's Spirit enables them to understand spiritual matters. God exercises those He calls so they will become holy and blameless. As Christ learned by what He suffered, His people learn through their suffering.

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