In the desert God was able to get the undivided attention of the Israelites, and to get them trained in the spiritual areas of trust and reliance upon Him, so that they would follow Him and Joshua into the all-important impending military battles. God did not want the Israelites to be terrified at the first sight of warfare. God wanted the Israelites to march forward into battle with determined resolve and courage, for their own benefit and welfare. God’s demanding and challenging training methods with the Israelites, at the very real risk to Himself of becoming temporarily unpopular, proved to be of the highest championship quality.
Lucifer, by contrast in this environment of the Sinai desert, had fewer tangible outward opportunities to work with. The usual glittering worldly temptations and allurements were not present in the desert. Spiritual military “boot-camp” provided fewer openings for Lucifer to operate within.
One of the fallacies that should be addressed as we approach the upcoming end-times is the idea that just because we are born-again Christians, God is satisfied with spiritually out-of-shape and overweight players on His team. This idea of a soft brand of Christianity is not biblical.
Every born-again Christian will be raptured when the time comes, regardless of what shape we are in. The thief crucified next to Jesus, who that very day would be in paradise with Him, with no future opportunity to live out his new faith on earth, tells us that salvation is entirely by grace through faith and not conditioned upon works. But the idea that Jesus Christ will not set up a rigorous training environment to get us all into top spiritual shape before the end, whatever particular eschatology the end-times may entail, needs some serious re-thinking within contemporary Christendom.
This current environment of earth is a one-time, non-repeating event. The end-time is the last “football” season for all eternity. Jesus Christ will not allow His team to go out with a losing final season, because we were out-of-shape, unprepared, and poorly coached. The perfect, divine coach Jesus Christ unselfishly loves each one of us too much to allow that to happen.