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The Perils of Sheep in the Wilderness

Updated: Jun 3


I will make you pass under the rod and will bring you into the bond of the covenant.

Ezekiel 20:37 CSB


            Do you rely on GPS when traveling? A better question, do you really trust it? My husband always asks me to look up directions yet, questions them every time!! I have to remind him he has never been where he is headed, so how can he question the directions? GPS is meant to take you, on the easiest route, to a location inputted in the system and it will redirect you if you veer off the path. Still, we have been lost because he questioned the directions and some due to this, we have found ourselves in some perilous parts of town.

            In Chapter 14 of the Book of Numbers we read the account of Israel's rebellion against God before traveling into the land of Canaan. The scouts had returned with news of giants who occupied the land and declared the impossibility of defeat and the ability to take control. Immediately, Moses, Aaron and Joshua, spoke up and assured them God would be with them and asked them to have faith.

            Then they argued. They actually believed it would have been better to stay in Egypt and die rather than take on this task. They would have chosen dying wilderness rather than falling to the sword of these people. Their faith was, again, lacking and they just couldn’t believe the GPS they were following could never, ever, be wrong.

Now, our GPS has been wrong before. GPS systems are programmed based on maps they can access. If the map they used was out of date, it is possible you can end up in the middle of a run-down trailer park rather than on the golf course you were looking for. This is because the golf course was built after the GPS accessed the map. But this doesn’t happen often. With God, on the other hand, this will never happen. God has all the current maps. He has all the current plans and blueprints. In fact, He has all the future diagrams and charts because He wants you to end up at the perfect place in which He is leading.

When we ended up in the trailer park, my husband sure grumbled. The Israelites griped as well, when they saw where God wanted them to go. It’s astonishing that they would be so faithless at this time, when they had just followed God through the Red Sea, just months before. How was it that they wouldn’t trust Him now, when He had brought them through something much worse. How could they forget so soon?

Don’t we do just that? I can think of numerous circumstances where I have relied on God through very difficult situations, cancer, job loss, money problems, yet when the hot water heater leaks, all I can do is complain and grumble. Unfortunately for the Israelites, God had had enough of the grumbling. He answered their complaints by promising they would die in the wilderness because of their lack of faith. They would not see the glorious promised land and, instead, would follow their GPS around in circles for 40 years until the generation had died off. God was willing to let His sheep wander in the wilderness because they just couldn’t believe He would guide them safely.

God wants to be our Shepherd and guide us to the places He desires us to go. He knows the way because He has planned it all. If it, indeed, is our choice not to follow Him, there will be punishment and judgement; like wandering for 40 years. The great thing about our Shepherd, our great GPS is if we choose to follow Him we will not face the perils of death. Because He sent His only son to die for us, we will not die in the wilderness, but will have life everlasting with Him. If you are wandering around, aimlessly, hearing the directions yet choosing to go where you want, it could be a long difficult road where you find yourself in places you never thought you would be. But, if you choose to follow the Shepherd, He will lead you to safety.

Ezekiel 20: 37 declares of the Lord God, “I will make you pass under the rod and will bring you into the bond of the covenant” (CSB). God will count you as one of His as a shepherd does his sheep. He will separate you from the evil and when we submit to His righteousness we will be under the power of His salvation.

This is the best way to go. The best way to travel through life is under the guarantee of His saving grace and the guidance of the Shepherd.

A Prayer for Today

Lord, I want to follow You. I want to know a life full of Your grace and love. Help me to see Your direction as I walk each day. Open my eyes to the path You have for me.


Today’s Challenge

Make a map of one path you are following. Where does it lead you in 10 years? 20 years? Where can you see God guiding you? Note areas you need to begin listening to Him.



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