Although the Israelites had seen the miracles which God had performed in decimating Egypt, still they failed to get the message that God was taking care of them along their journey. Each day God's cloud was in the sky and each night the pillar of fire was there, and yet they still grumbled when the Egyptians were coming after them, and when they wanted food, water and later, meat. I feel so sorry for Moses, having heard the people say that they would agree to God's 10 Commandments, then in a matter of weeks, here they were worshipping a golden calf. Where was the good news in all of this, for Moses?
Maybe when the people saw their destination, things would change for the better, but no, the people were afraid to enter Canaan and would not listen to Joshua and Caleb's version of God's ability to help them conquer the land. Imagine being so close but now having to wander in the desert for 40 years, and through no fault of your own.
It is usually people who do the right thing who are disadvantaged by those who don't, so what do we learn from Moses?
Moses grew up in privilege at Pharaoh's palace, then spent 40 years living rough as a shepherd, possibly being reminded each day that he was now of no use in helping his people in slavery, then at the age of 80, God gave him this mammoth task, a task which he did not want nor receive much thanks from the people he was helping.
But the book of Hebrews tells us that by faith Moses carried out God's instructions, as Moses knew that God had promised his people the land of Canaan - a promise first given to Abraham, but Moses also had a promise of eternity with God. Moses faced disappointment after disappointment while doing the job which God had given him, yet he remained faithful to God's calling.
God does not always call us to a life which may be our choice, but whatever the circumstances, he calls us to have faith in him. Whether that brings joy or disappointment, Jesus' words " I am with you always" will always be there. What more could we want?