Moses recorded every place from which they the started and camped during the forty year journey in the wilderness. The journey began at Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; the day after the Passover, in the sight of all the Egyptians, while the Egyptians were burying their first born, whom the Lord had struck down. The Lord had also executed judgement on the Egyptian’s gods. There were many places that they camped at on the way but the stages of the journey include:
- Egypt to the wilderness of Sinai (vv. 5–15)
- From the wilderness to Ezion Geber (vv. 16–35)
- Ezion Geber to Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin (v. 36)
- Kadesh to Moab (vv. 37–49).
The forty years of wondering had ended at Moab. On the plains of Moab, the sons of Israel were poised to cross the Jordan and enter into the promise land but the leaders that led them for forty years (Moses and Aaron) would not enter with them. Thus, the Lord gave it to Moses to give one last bit of instruction to the sons of Israel before they crossed the Jordan into the promised land.
The wondering in the wilderness can and has been equated by many to the journey that we have in the kingdom of man; from salvation to the death of our bodies. The Lord’s judgment on the Egyptian gods is seen in the plagues. The final plague was the death of the first born in Egypt but the first born of Israel were protected by the blood of the lamb. We are saved by the righteous blood of the Lord Jesus Christ through faith. From there we begin our journey towards the promise land. He does not immediately take us to the promise land but sends us into the wilderness. The journey should be thought of as a time of sanctification. The putting away of the old man and putting on the new. The adults who were living on the fifteenth day of the first month, when the sons of Israel began their journey from Rameses, would not enter into the promise land, they had to die in the wilderness. A new generation would take possession of the promise land.
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”