As the next slide clicks into place, you shift slightly to ward off stiffness and think, “this message isn’t quite what I expected. I was expecting a pep fest, a locker room rouser—not a history lesson.” But you’re still captivated. Maybe it’s the old man’s cadence. Maybe because you feel like each word is spoken directly to you. Maybe because this is your parent’s history, and yours…
“When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on.”
Deuteronomy 1:6-7a NLT
I love roots. Maybe it’s the horticulturist in me, but I think their interwoven complexity is beautiful. Mesmerizing even. But I also like roots in my life and home. They provide a sense of anchoring—of stability, security, and belonging. And because they don’t move from their central location, their known predictability is comforting. Even on vacation I like to have a home base of sorts. A place to unpack, settle, and comeback to. For me, being uprooted is scary and disconcerting. But sometimes, it’s exactly what I need.
Complacency. Laziness. Apathy. These are names of some of the thieves waiting to steal what God has promised you. They spring up like noxious weeds, choking the life out of you and your dreams. Therefore, God told His Nation (and us) to move before these enemies could invade their hearts and entangle their resolve—keeping them in place and stealing their future. But it’s easier to stay than move to a new place, new school, new job, new friends, new major, new_______ isn’t it? Even when we know it is for our best, it still terrifies us; especially when anxiety whispers, “Here, the unknown is minimized. Out there, who knows what could happen.”
Being a lover of roots, I get their desire to settle down. But if they had settled at Sinai, they would have settled. The Israelites lived at the base of Sinai for a year; more than enough time to get established and scope out the best coffee shops, shoe stores, and parks. These people had spent the last 400 years as slaves and were now displaced and homeless, but Sinai wasn’t their home. It was their respite. A place of restoration. A chance to heal from the brutalities of bondage. A place to discover how to follow and worship God. A place to learn how to live with each other as a community of free people. A place for God to illuminate their inner value and pull it out them.
This was also the year to built the tabernacle, train soldiers, and make weapons. To cast aside of all their idols of self, achievement, success, possessions, sports, GPAs, and everything else they brought with them that takes the place of God in their lives. All the while, children were being born and raised, couples were getting married, and everyone was simply living life. But Sinai was not their land of promise. And it was time to move.
I wonder…when God’s told them to move and if they chose to stay, would God still:
…fed them manna from Heaven’s table?
…provide fresh water from a rock?
…protect them from their enemies?
Somehow, I don’t think so. Because they would have disobeyed and rejected Him and His blessings. And not until the saw the error of their ways and recommitted to Him—again, would they be back in fellowship with Him.
What about you? When God says its time to pack up and head out, are you going to trade the Promised Land for the wilderness of Sinai?
Remember, God has your back. He doesn’t dig up your roots to damage you, but to move you to a place where you will thrive. Where you can accomplish the purpose He’s given you. You are here for a reason. You matter. Your purpose is important. And when we chose not to follow where He leads, we risk missing out on blessings we cannot fathom and wasting our life.
So pack your bags, Dear One. Let’s follow Him to our Promised Land. Let Him bring out the potential and value in you. And let His glory shine!