One day it will be said of you that not one of the good promises God made to you in his Word failed, but that each and every one came to pass. One day it will be said of all those who are his that God was faithful to his every word and true to his every promise. And together we will praise the name of the Lord our God.
We live out our Christian lives in a place between Egypt and the Promised Land. We have been justified but not yet glorified—we have been delivered safely through the Red Sea but have not yet forded the Jordan and arrived on its far bank. We may not physically wander as did the Israelites of old and we may not actually follow pillars of fire and cloud, but we no less make a pilgrimage and we are no less dependent upon the goodness, the grace, and the guidance of our God. We are no less reliant upon his promises to sustain us when the path is uncertain, when our enemies rise up, when the way before us seems to stretch on interminably.
The Israelites were prone to doubt God—to doubt his strength, his power, his intentions. They were prone to doubt that he would prove true to his promises and lead them to the land that flowed with milk and honey, the land that would be their home and their rest.
In so many ways the story of the Pentateuch is the story of God proving his faithfulness over against his people’s faithlessness. It is for good reason that so few who saw God parting the sea between Egypt and the wilderness were permitted to see God parting the river between the wilderness and Promised Land. There were consequences for their doubt and for its many manifestations in grumbling, rebellion, and idolatry.