Google Maps puts the journey from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-barnea at just under six hours, but that’s in a car. Moses reckoned that his fledgling nation could have managed about twenty miles a day—not bad for a big crowd with flocks.
It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb [Mount Sinai] by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. (Deut. 1:2)
Kadesh-barnea lay below the southern foothills of Canaan; it was the gateway to the promised land. Had Israel kept a steady pace, they might have left Egypt, received the Law at Sinai, and entered the promised land within a few short years. In fact, they took forty years because they failed to trust and obey God.
When Israel arrived at Kadesh-barnea, two years after leaving Mount Sinai, they were poised to enter Canaan. God had promised them the land and had already demonstrated His power over the far stronger and better organized Egyptian army. However, Israel succumbed to fear and spent the next 38 years wandering in the wilderness.
Jesus gave simple directions before He ascended, not as detailed as Google Maps but clear enough:
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
How far is it to the ends of the earth? If a few years is enough time to conquer Canaan, then how long does our mission to the farthest tribes need to take?
Let’s not fall into condemnation and guilt, today is another chance to step up the pace and set our faces on the goal of covering the globe with the gospel.