Where to next? (Numbers 33)

Who do you tell your deepest, darkest secrets to?

Do you have someone like that? Someone you feel so safe with that you aren’t afraid to tell them the things you’re ashamed of?

Think about that person. Are there any secrets that you haven’t told them – and won’t?

After all, there’s always things that you keep to yourself. No one is supposed to know you that well.

We certainly know the Israelites well. Just like every other major Bible character, we’ve seen their good, their bad, and their ugly. Numbers 33 offers something like a summary. It goes back over each location the Israelites pitched in, from Egypt all the way to their latest campsite in the plains of Moab.

It’s a comprehensive summary. It’s detailed. It sounds like it came from a bodyguard or a private investigator.

What if your life were laid out like that for someone to see? Every place you’d ever been, every food you’d ever eaten for breakfast, every word you’d said to someone else or yourself, every thought that’d crossed your mind, everything you’d done in public or in private?

How the sausage is made

Technically, we all know that our lives really are spread out before Jesus in excruciating detail. But when’s the last time we thought deeply about what that means? I know it’s been a while for me.

I know that because I have a pretty good opinion of myself. When I think about myself, I think about the good stuff. My education. The times I was a good friend. The nice things I’ve done for people. I gloss over the sins I’ve committed and the mistakes I’ve made. It’s in the past, after all.

But God doesn’t have that biased view of us. He doesn’t only see what we allow Him to see. He doesn’t even see only what our friends and family see.

He sees everything. He knows why you said something and whether or not you hesitated. He knows exactly when you did something and how you felt afterward. He knows the ins and outs of you, every corner of your mind, and every nook and cranny of your heart.

And yet when He sees us, His heart is filled with overwhelming love.

That is, like, scary. That is unprecedented. To be fully known and yet thoroughly loved is wild and comforting and thrilling all at the same time.

I mean, if we’re loved like that, that means that we don’t have to worry about anything. The One who loves us will supply all our needs.

If we’re loved like that, then we don’t have to be afraid of anything. We can face whatever comes our way with the One who loves us by our side.

If we’re loved like that, then we don’t have to despair over anything. The One who loves us will protect us, vindicate us, and strengthen us through everything.

When God daydreams

It’s almost too easy to leave it at that. We’re wildly loved – life is great! But there’s more.

What kind of Lover doesn’t see a future with their beloved? What kind of Romantic doesn’t lie awake at night, dreaming sweet dreams about the new life they and their beloved will live together? The adventures they’ll have? The lessons they’ll learn?

Imagine Jesus lying awake thinking about you. Isn’t that cool? We know He dreamed fantastic dreams about the Israelites. After detailing every step they’d taken, God detailed the steps that were yet to come.

He told His children how they’d go over the Jordan and into Canaan. He told them about all the victories they’d win and wicked nations they’d overthrow. He told them about their inheritance: the gifts and land and prosperity that was going to be theirs.

And then He warned them. He told them that those dreams would only come true if they stayed true – to Him.

Like any lover, God dreamed, but He also knew He could lose His beloved just like that. The smallest step into sin could break their future happiness forever.

We know how the Israelites’ story turned out. But what about God’s dreams for you?

“Let’s go away together.”

Jesus knows where you’ve been. He knows your past mistakes, your pet sins, and your desperate wanderings in the wilderness of life.

But He loves you. And He will never stop.

It doesn’t matter what you do, what mistakes you make, or what sins you commit – He’ll always love you.

But lest we take this knowledge and run back to the way it’s always been, God opens His hands to give you a glimpse at something more.

Something better than empty pleasure. Something more satisfying than the things of this world.

Something that can prevent the eating pain that sin causes. Something that can restore the health that sin eroded.

It’s life. It’s life more abundantly. And it’s different for every person. Where does God want you to go? What does He want you to do?

The answer is just around the corner. All we need to do to find it is turn around, take His hand, and let Him lead us away from what we used to know.

God is dreaming. Where to next, Lord? What beautiful things will happen when we hold Your hand and watch Your dreams come true?


What do you think? Comment below about a time when one of God’s dreams for you came true.

4 thoughts on “Where to next? (Numbers 33)

  1. I know God’s dream for me is to be always with Him. “So that where I am, ye may be also…”. And God will help me fulfill that dream.

    Liked by 1 person

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