Question: Why did the children of Israel have to go through the desert on their way to the promised land?
They had to learn to rely on their God!
This was/is a hard lesson for them to learn, and their failure has led to their isolation and persecution from the world which is under Satan at present!
The summary of their problem is shown in detail in Malachi!
However; they have yet to realise the mistake they made in AD 30, when they meet the Risen and Returned Christ Jesus when the events of Zech. 12:10 arrive!
God’s Chosen People:
The Intercession of Christ, is one of the most misunderstood, and by many groups badly and wrongly taught, and by other groups totally ignored. This subject and that of Salvation in Christ is at the core of the Holy Bible, throughout. A Christian group therefore should be focused on the understanding of these subjects, but unfortunately many are not. It is a measure of the success of the great enemy, Satan, as to the degree that so called Christian groups busy themselves with many various subjects but do not focus, on the fundamentals of God's Word.
There is only one chosen people by Jehovah God in the world. They are the Jews, and are descendants of the Friend of Jehovah God, Abraham. This one crucial, accurate, and definite Truth is clear to anybody who studies the Scriptures in Spirit and in Truth. Jews were chosen by the Almighty and stated as such in (Isa. 41:8-9) & (Isa. 43:10). See: "Israel; My Firstborn son".
Christians, (The Body of Christ), are a separate subject and were prior to the Foundation/Overthrow of the world, by virtue of the fact that Jesus the Christ is the "Elect" of God. Rom. 8:29,30, Eph. 1:4-5 & 11. See: The Elect Calvin onwards;
All the Jews that descended from Abraham through the miracle son Isaac are much loved by Jehovah, and He requested of them that they should honour Him in thought, word and deed, as they were to be His witnesses throughout the world (Isa. 43:10). In that much honoured role they failed. They did not honour the Almighty in thought, word and deed, so Jehovah God made a way out for them in the sacrifice of animals whose blood and various offerings became the propitiation and atonement between them and their God, Jehovah. Because their failure was continual, the sacrificial system with the priesthood in the Temple in Jerusalem, was also continual. However, even in that they failed, in that they did not keep up the required sacrifices, and even went as far as to deny the existence of their God, and the cessation of Temple worship, and also the bricking up of the Temple entrance; which led to the Babylonian exile.
The Almighty had promised the Jews great blessing if they honoured Him in the ways mentioned, but had already foreseen their failure, and had promised them a second chance to draw close to Him in Righteousness, (Jer. 31:31-32).
By the time of John the Baptist, the forerunner prophesied in Malachi, (unfulfilled; Mal. 4:5 & Matt.17:9-13) Israel was in a dire spiritual condition, and for a brief period Salvation was offered to them by water Baptism. This was the physical forerunner and symbol (Matt. 3:11) of the Spiritual Baptism in death (with all that entailed) that Christ was yet to undertake.
At the end of Jesus Christ's short three year ministry, knowing that His Earthly time was growing short, at supper with His disciples He expressed that the New Covenant promised by His Father Jehovah, was now to be Instituted in His Body (bread) and His blood (wine). This was accomplished at His crucifixion at Golgotha.
In this statement and act, Christ became the substitutionary sacrifice, the propitiation and the atonement for the sin of the Jews (at that time), and later offered to the Gentiles, (Acts 28:25-28). This heralded a new beginning for the chosen people had they accepted Christ as Messiah at that time.
As is well-known Saul, as he was then known, was met by the risen Lord in vision on the road to Damascus. He was travelling to persecute to death Christians of that city. As is also well-known, he was temporally blinded by the vision of Christ, but was completely changed from persecuting Christ to promoting Him. As he later witnessed before king Agrippa, (Acts. 26:12-18), he was told at the time of the encounter with Christ, that he had to undertake for Christ a special mission to the Jews. That mission was to explain clearly to them who Christ was. The Jews were to change their thinking, understanding, and behaviour in the New Covenant that Christ now was, representing Jehovah's promise to them in Jer. 31:31-33. He was also told at the same time on the Damascus road, that Christ would have other work for him at a later date, see: Apostle Paul's Accusers.
The risen Christ stated He would communicate the details to Saul when appropriate. Paul's work (as now he is called), was to explain to the Jews this great understanding in the New Covenant in Christ, and that He would shortly return to them when He was accepted of His people, (this explains the emphasis in Paul's earlier 7 letters, of his expectation of the soon return of Messiah Christ Jesus; as opposed to the last 7 letters written approx. after AD 61/62; Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, which do not show Christ's near return, and emphasise living in the conditions which still prevail to this day).
The detail of Paul's explanation to his fellow Jews is the book of Hebrews, which was almost certainly the first writing of Paul early in his Jewish ministry. In Hebrews we see that Christ the Lord is interceding for the Jews, as the Great High priest in the manner shown in the Old Testament before Jehovah God, but also as the once only Sacrifice. Each Jew that would accept Christ as Messiah and Lord was to be in a state of Salvation, and sealed from that time on (Eph. 1:13). Unfortunately, as we read in Acts 28, the Jews finally rejected Christ as Messiah, and in Acts 28:28 Paul states clearly and unequivocally that the offer to the Jews, which had been rejected, of Salvation in Christ, was to go to the Gentiles, and that they would respond. (See: Bible Dispensations).
John the Baptist, Jesus and the Apostle Paul berated the Jewish Hierarchy of the day for adhering to the Pharisaic writings, instead of the Originals given to Moses, known as “Biblical Judaism”. It is recorded and well known by the Jews, that the Pharisees in particular were “very flexible” in their interpretations of Torah, and this is confirmed by the Qumran Scrolls. Of the main ‘schools’, or Groups of the day, the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Essens, the Pharisees became dominant, and at the time of the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, only the “Judaism of the Pharisees”, known as “Rabbinic Judaism” prevailed! This grew, and by AD 300, all the Pharisaic Interpretation had been tabulated in the “Mishnah”. This is the basis of “Modern (Orthodox Judaism)”.
This is why the Truths of the Messiah of Almighty God, as depicted and prophesied in the “Biblical Judaism” of the Old Testament (OT), are not accepted by the Jews who adhere to the current “Rabbinical Judaism” which is derived from the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.
The condition in the world still prevails, that this offer is open to all who will accept it. There is no limitation as to nationality or tribe, although the Jews are under a particular disadvantage in that they are burdened with a lack of understanding (veil), and are in a temporarily dispossessed state (Lo - Ammi) for nearly the last 2000 years. The risen Lord Christ Jesus, therefore intercedes for any person with the Father who wishes to be in a regenerated, sinless state, in the eyes of the Father through Christ, and once the Father accepts the intercession of the Son for that person they are sealed (2Cor. 1:22), (Eph. 1:13) & (Eph. 4:30), even though they remain in the flesh, and the completion is not until after the raising of the Body of Christ. Only people who seek the above in Spirit and in Truth can achieve this blessed state of Salvation, and when they are in that state there is no further need of cleansing, other than the washing of feet illustrated by Christ when He washed the feet of His disciples, (Jn. 13:5), to wash away the inevitably dirt and grime of living and walking in the world. Some groups teach that Christ intercedes with the Father for their daily sin or error. That is not the case, as when a person is washed in the blood of Christ they are made whole once and for all, (Jn. 13:10), the absolute self-sacrifice of Christ is sufficient for the Father to accept any or all people that will ever live, if their hearts are absolutely sincere at that moment in time when they embrace Christ's love for themselves. From then on they need only communicate / pray / speak to Christ as Lord, Master and Friend to request their feet be washed.
Whereas in the Old Testament Jehovah chose His people, the people of the world may now choose Jehovah (through Christ)!