Moses spent his first forty years in Pharaoh’s court in Egypt and his next forty in the wilderness of Median tending sheep for his father in law Jethro. One day while tending sheep he came to Mount Horeb (meaning desert or desolation) and here in what is called the ‘north wilderness of Median’ he heard the voice of God in a burning bush telling him, “I have come down to deliver them (the Israelites) out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey.”
The land ‘flowing with milk and honey’ is a metaphor for a prosperous and fertile land with every expectation for generous crops and food sources with plenty of water. The milk signifying adequate pasture for sheep, goats and camels (thus their milk) and honey would be the sweet dates and figs and the occasional wild honey from bees (the bee is unclean as an insect but the honey is kosher… go figure the Law?).
The last forty years of Moses’ life was spent on the wilderness journey bringing the Israelite people from Egypt into Canaan, the promised land of milk and honey. If one looks at a map of the region between Egypt and Israel, the question of why it took 40 years to travel a straight-line distance of only about 240 miles is rather startling. Why an average of only 6 miles per year, which seems incredibly slow, even for people on foot? Because a generation of people refused the offer of the Promised Land and they all died in the Wilderness. A poignant picture of those who seek and those who refuse Jesus today.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” Jesus