Journeys seem to be part of life. They teach us much about life too. And also about how God relates to us.
The first journey of significance in the Bible is the journey of Abraham from his country to the land the Lord was to show him. That was a journey of obedience and faith not knowing where he was going; but sure of Who had called him to go. And he lived as a stranger on earth for he was looking forward in faith to the City of God.
Paul undertook missionary journeys. They involved hardships and persecutions. In fact, he had met Jesus in a remarkable encounter on the Damascus Road when he had formerly traveled to persecute God’s people. Later he underwent persecution to spread the good news. He also planted Churches and later wrote letters encouraging them.
Another great journey is the story of the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. But that journey though highlighted by God’s great miracles is also a sad story because of the disbelief and constant grumbling of God’s people.
It was a journey where the people constantly put God to the test. And God had to destroy them in the desert. It is best remembered as a journey of desert-wandering. But even then God provided for them with manna and water during the forty years and also brought the children of those people into the Promised Land.
After Israel became a nation, there was their journey to exile in Babylon. This happened because of their disobedience to God and rebellion against Him. The people committed the worst kinds of idolatry, sexual immorality, and shedding of innocent blood in the land. These, God was not willing to forgive.
In spite of late attempts by a few godly kings to bring in revival, the nation of Israel (northern kingdom) and the nation of Judah (southern kingdom) went into exile from Babylon. From there they returned to Jerusalem after seventy years.
Faith and obedience, wanderings, exile, and return, moving out with the gospel enduring hardships, and the faithfulness of God, are all part of your journey of life too; isn’t it?
From the Garden of Gethsemane to Calvary’s Hill is an unforgettable journey of Jesus. So the writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us: “And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.” When you make that journey you participate in the sufferings of Christ!