The story of the nation of Israel’s release from years of captivity in Egypt begins in Exodus 4. The final act that “buys” their release, the blood of the lamb, is in chapter 11.
To assure that this freed people would not lose their way to God's blessings and provision, a pillar of fire in the night and a cloud during the daylight would guide them every step of the way on their journey. (Exodus 13:21-22).
For several generations, God had promised a specific land to Israel. Not only did He promise the land, but He released them from their captors and guided them directly to the place of entrance into the promised land.
Israel balked. They came right up to the point of decision and they chose not to enter the land. ( Numbers 13). God’s reaction to Israel’s balking?: Surely, all the men who have seen My glory and My signs, which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it. Numbers 14:22-23
After the "balking" generation passed away the Nation of Israel is again at the entry point of the promised land.
Deuteronomy 12:8-12 is the key section for us to understand clearly what the new terms of their entrance would be: It explicitly states that “tomorrow” everything changes. “you shall not do all that we are doing here today…” All of the do's and don'ts of the law were being left on the wilderness side to the border.
The promise is that Israel will live in rest and security provided they enter the land of promise as God intended.
Unfortunately, Hebrews 4 states that Israel NEVER entered the promised rest and security and continues on warning us that we also might miss it if we respond to God the way Israel did. The crowning statement is verse 19: ..they were not able to enter because of unbelief’.
The bottom line is that the people of Israel never entered the land of security and rest because every step of the way they “Logic-ed” their way through the enemies and issues. God required that they enter the land knowing the He had given it to them and that it was He who would clear the way and fight their enemies.
The invitation to us is the same. Cross the Jordan that separates the dominion of this world from the kingdom of God; the world from the promised land; drudgery and toil from rest and security. It is only by faith that we can enter the promised land!