By Not Known
Many years ago I mas taught navigation skills as part of training for military
intelligence. A bunch of us soldiers were put into a sealed truck, dumped in the
bush and told to plot a path back to home base. For that, we needed to know
where we were.
At first glance this seemed impossible, for we were in a tree-strewn wilderness
and there was no GPS system. We soon learned to look for landmarks such as a
river, railway line, or distinctive landform. The more distant landmarks gave the
best readings. With these landmarks, a compass could be used to plot the
location and the route home.
The life of faith often seems like a wilderness and we feel lost. We wonder about
how to ‘keep our head‘ let alone find our way home to God. This was also true
for the Old Testament Israelites on their journey between Mt Sinai and Canaan.
This is a time to look for distant landmarks. The Israelites had landmarks behind
them in the exodus from Egypt under Moses. They had a future landmark with
their glimpse of the Promised Land. These were their navigation aids and gave
the readings to plot their way.
Likewise, God’s new people have distant past and future landmarks. Our past
landmark is the new exodus of Jesus’ Cross. Our future landmark is the promised
land of eternal life – it’s the ‘home base‘ to which all of life heads. These are our
navigation aids and give our ‘readings‘.
Such landmarks are not the passing whims of our spiritual experiences and
feelings. Rather, they are the objective deeds of God – as real and even more
permanent than a river or mountain.
We are to use God’s landmarks to navigate our journey through the spiritual
God’s landmarks will keep us from the landmines of doubt, despair and
disobedience. Old Israel often lost sight of the landmarks, focused on their
feelings and tripped on the landmines. Because of that, a whole generation
missed the Promised Land. We are told not to follow their example, lest we lose
our way (Heb 3, especially vv12-15).
The journey of faith is tough, but let’s make it better by using God’s landmarks.