From Kadesh Moses then sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying: “Thus your brother Israel has said, ‘You know all the hardship that has befallen us; 15 that our fathers went down to Egypt, and we stayed in Egypt a long time, and the Egyptians treated us and our fathers badly. 16 But when we cried out to the Lord, He heard our voice and sent an angel and brought us out from Egypt; now behold, we are at Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory. 17 Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or through vineyard; we will not even drink water from a well. We will go along the king’s highway, not turning to the right or left, until we pass through your territory.’”
18 Edom, however, said to him, “You shall not pass through us, or I will come out with the sword against you.” 19 Again, the sons of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the highway, and if I and my livestock do drink any of your water, then I will pay its price. Let me only pass through on my feet, nothing else.” 20 But he said, “You shall not pass through.” And Edom came out against him with a heavy force and with a strong hand.21 Thus Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through his territory; so Israel turned away...
This passage takes place when the people of Israel were starting the process of entering the land of Israel, the Promised Land. On the way, they had to go through various other nations to get there. As you can see in this passage, the nation of Edom did not allow them to pass through, even though Israel assured them of nothing but peace. Israel could have attacked and destroyed Edom, but they chose peace, even though it meant going the long way around. If you continue reading into Numbers 21 and 22, you find that when they went around Edom it forced them to pass through other hostile nations, who attacked them, cursed them, and threatened them. What this means for us: We need to trust God no matter what, even if he steers us in directions that are hard, dangerous, and undesirable. We need to choose the path of peace, even if it comes at great cost. There are times we need to move on, and times we need to let others move on, in obedience to God. Sometimes obed
ience to God takes us places that are out of the way and undesirable. We go where he tells us, and we trust him for the results. If every place we go and everything we do just happens to line up with what we personally like, then we are probably not following him. I see Jesus in this passage because he did not consider his own desires, but instead came to serve others. He took the hostility of sin that he didn't deserve in order to spare and save others. Lets do the same!