“Then we turned and journeyed into the wilderness of the Way of the Red Sea, as the Lord spoke to me (Moses) and we circled Mount Seir for many days. And the Lord spoke to me, saying: ‘You have circled this mountain long enough; turn northward.”
(Deuteronomy 2:1-3)

“You have circled this mountain long enough; turn northward.”

Did I just hear a chorus of amens?
I thought so!

The subtitle for Deuteronomy 2 reads, “Remembering Israel’s Wanderings”. If you recall, the Israelites took forty years to make a trip that some scholars estimate should have taken a few weeks.

That’s a lot of wandering.

The problem was that God required them to keep circling Mount Seir because they wouldn’t learn their lessons – lessons like “Thou shalt have no other gods before me!” Or lessons like, “I AM the Sovereign Lord, not you!” He could not gift them with the Promised Land until they understood Who the Giver was.

But now the time had come to march right into Canaan, after taking out a few more enemies, of course. God told them to turn northward.


I realize that northward is just a directional term, but I thought about it most of the day. I thought about the illustrations of compasses on maps that have an arrow pointing up to represent north. The arrows point up. Hmmm…

“I will lift UP my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1).

Eyes fixed on Jesus.

Have you been circling a mountain over and over? I surely have, in fact I can think of more than one. Perhaps my biggest mountain is named insecurity. I am afraid to fail and I am afraid to succeed. Crazy, I know, but its the truth. I seem to be more comfortable circling the mountain – at least I am familiar with the landscape – than stepping off the beaten path and moving forward – north!

But God tells me it is time to turn northward, I’ve been circling the mountain long enough. It’s a little scary, but I know the Lord is with me.

I know He is with You, too. He didn’t say to go north by ourselves. In fact, He promised He would never leave us, nor forsake us. NEVER. Not even when we whine and complain and resist forward movement. He is a faithful God, you know.

So, sweet friends, onward and upward we go.

“You have circled this mountain long enough,” says the Lord.

Father, I am so thankful that You know and understand this fearful heart. I pray that Your perfect love would cast away all fear and insecurity within me, that You would prevent me from resisting forward movement. I am so thankful that You are with Your children. Indeed! You are WITHIN Your children through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank You, Lord. Make that a reality in our lives. We love You and give You praise!