Yesterday, we talked about the tribe of Dan and their discontent with the land that the Lord gave them after they left the wilderness. Though it had coastal access, it was vulnerable to attack by the Philistines so they were forced to live in a state of constant struggle. Ultimately, their lack of satisfaction led them to send a group of five warriors to the northern part of Israel in an attempt to locate a more peaceful place to settle. Upon arrival, the small group of Danite spies took up shelter in the home of a Jewish man named Micah, and while there, they encountered a young Levite who had been hired as his personal priest. After getting to know this servant of the Lord, they realized that he was able to hear directly from God, so they asked him to inquire as to whether or not their quest to relocate would be successful. Unfortunately, the answer the Holy Spirit gave to the priest often gets lost in translation, and in some versions of the Bible, the Hebrew text is completely misrepresented. You see, far from being an affirmation of their plans, God’s response to his inquiry in the Hebrew was actually, “Before the Lord is the course on which you are going.” Clearly this was not an outright approval or disapproval, but merely a declaration by Jehovah that He was aware of the choice they would make. Upon receiving this answer, the Danite warriors went back home and told the rest of their people about the peaceful and quiet northern city of Lyesh. Once it was agreed that their lives would be much better there, they gathered 600 men, traveled back to the city, raided it, killed its inhabitants (they even ransacked the house of Micah, with whom they had stayed), and set up their own civilization. After they settled, they breathed a sigh of relief and looked forward to a tranquil existence free from the ongoing struggle they had endured in their previous territory. However, little did they know that even larger kingdoms like the Assyrians and Babylonians would invade in the coming years — and they would always come from the north. In other words, in their discontent with what they had, the tribe of Dan traded one form of struggle for another, but the latter was even worse than the former.
My friend, as you deal with the ongoing effects of a global pandemic and sort through the crisis of racial unrest that came on its heels, you may be tempted to “check out” and move into a territory that appears to be more peaceful. However, as much as you want to escape this tough time, I encourage you to remember that you were chosen by God to be alive right now and that He is giving you this territory so you can stretch, grow, and become more like Him. Though it’s stressful, you can embrace the present struggle with your Savior, invite Him to search the deepest parts of you, and know with confidence that He has gone before you on this path. He has ordained every day of your life, and He promises to be with you no matter how hard things get. Stay in sync with His Spirit, plant your feet on His goodness, and He will bless you abundantly in the land He has already given to you.