Meta. The Israelites' leaving Egypt, wandering through the wilderness, entering Canaan, and taking possession of the Promised Land are symbolical of the unfoldment and growth of the individual from material to spiritual consciousness.
According to the record the Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years on their way to the Promised Land, although the journey might have been accomplished in forty weeks. The reason is given in Deuteronomy 8:2, 3:
"And thou shalt remember all the way which Jehovah thy God hath led thee these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble thee, to prove thee, to know what was in thy heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or not. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by everything that proceedeth out of the mouth of Jehovah doth man live."
When under spiritual discipline, we should accept without murmuring whatever comes to us, and try to find the mental cause. We do not go direct to the Promised Land, because we are ignorant of the law of existence- we attribute to life a physical instead of a metaphysical basis. We try to solve the problem of life in material ways instead of spiritual, and thus continually fall short. We wander to and fro, searching for a way out of our difficulties, yet ignoring the only way, which is an adjustment of our thoughts to Divine Mind. The soul of man is a mental thing, and its growth depends on spiritual food--thoughts and words of Truth.
The Lord is striving to make Himself known to our confused thoughts (the wilderness experience in our mind), and when we cry out in our sense of lack there is an invisible outpouring and temporary satisfaction. We are not always aware of the source, but we know that we have in some unseen way been fed inwardly. People who have had this spiritual refreshing after a period of darkness often exclaim: "What an outpouring of the blessed Spirit we have had! Oh, if it would only stay with us always !"
When we are obedient to the divine law, having cast all error out of our mind, we shall consciously have the heavenly substance all the time. But we shall not attain this condition by murmuring against the law or by calling blindly on the Lord. We must strive patiently and earnestly to overcome our errors, our sins, our shortcomings. Then the word of God will create in us a new man, and we shall know that there are flesh, blood, and substance of an abiding nature, which Jesus Christ manifested and of which we can partake through Him. Thus shall we enter into and begin to take possession of the Promised Land, which symbolizes the lifting up of both soul and body to spiritual expression and manifestation.
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