TOPIC:"The Tragedy of Living on the Border"
"We came to Kadesh-Barnea" (1:19)
As we come to this portion of the Bible we find that ancient Israel is on a divine journey to the Promised Land. They have come to the border of Canaan, but instead of going forward to possess the land, they trifled at Kadesh-Barnea. They failed to carry on. They failed to follow through. And that was their tragedy! Kadesh-Barnea should have been a highway to the Promised Land, but instead it became a dead end street. They stopped and never went forward.
There is a truth here for those of us who profess to be Christians. And it is this. We start out for our spiritual destination, but we don't reach it. We come to the border of dynamic Christian living, but we fail to follow through. We settle down in the wilderness of despair and defeat instead of entering into the land of spiritual blessings which are ours to possess in Jesus Christ. This is what tragically happened to Israel of old. Kadesh-Barnea at this point is symbolical of those believers who fall short of God's desired spiritual goal for their lives. This is how I want us to think of it in this message - the tragedy of living on the border.
Consider, to begin with, that Kadesh-Barnea reminds us of Israel's VICTORIOUS PAST. Notice again the words of Moses: "We came to Kadesh-Barnea." That raises the question: Where did Israel come from? The answer is found in Exodus 12 verse 31 and 32: "And he (Pharaoh) called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said."
Under bondage to Pharaoh they came out of Egypt by means of the power of God and the leadership of Moses. From the land of slavery and humiliation they crossed the Red Sea and breathed the fresh air of freedom which God had promised them. Along the way they camped at Mount Sinai to receive from God the giving of the Law and His instructions as to how they were to conduct themselves as the people of God. Then the voice of God came unto them again in verses . . .