The enemy within

The Israelites were witnesses to miracle after miracle in Egypt and for a few hours believed that it was really God’s plan to lead them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. The evening of the first day they came to a road block, the Red Sea was in front of them, with no way to cross. Soon they saw the dust f the Egyptian army pursuing them. Their belief evaporated.

Then the Red Sea parted in front of them, the water piled up as huge walls on either side leaving a path of dry land for them to leave Egypt behind. When the Egyptian army followed, the wheels came off their chariots. There was tumult and confusion until the whole army was on that path through the sea; then the walls of water collapsed and they were all drowned.

The Israelites were now home free, an open way before them to enter and take possession of the Promised Land. Moses took a census of all the men twenty years old and up and came up with the number of 603,550. But only two of those men actually made it into the Promised Land.

What happened to the others? It turned out that their greatest enemy was not external, but internal. The Bible calls in unbelief. The Israelites had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years before 603,548 of those men died. Then Caleb and Joshua and the sons and grandsons of the others marched into the Promised Land and claimed it as their heritage.

This is a lot more than a story for little children. It is included the Bible as an example and warning to adults. There are dangers all around us in this world; they are not imaginary, they are very real. Yet none of them will prevent us from making it to the Promised Land. Our greatest enemy, the only one that will leave us dead on this side of Jordan, is the unbelief within us. The New Testament is in the Bible to show us that Jesus has opened the way to have victory over the enemy within.

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