Crisis of Faith

Crisis of Faith

BY THE COASTAL ROAD, the distance from the border of Egypt to the frontier of Israel is under 200 miles. At a modest pace of 10 miles a day, it could be walked in three weeks. But the journey to the Promised Land took the people of Israel over 40 years. The reason for this extraordinary delay is at once depressing and instructive. This is how it came about. Some time after they received the Law from God at Mount Sinai, the Israelites set off northwards through the Sinai Peninsula. They arrived eventually at Kadesh Barnea, an oasis in the desert not far from the boundary of Canaan. After a Iifetime of burden-bearing in Egypt, the people were looking forward to the farms and villages they had been promised. The snag was, they had no experience of warfare, and the Canaanites were Iikely to resist bitterly any attempts to evict