Today’s passage: Numbers 14
- The people had been brought a report of a land flowing with milk and honey. They saw it’s fruits and heard about it’s beautiful regions. They had been given a promise by Almighty God to give them this very land. Yet, they wept. They didn’t believe they could take the land.
- In fact, in their emotional storm, they accused God of bringing them to the land to have them killed!
- To finish off their rebellion, the people of Israel set out to choose new leaders to take them back to Egypt and they sought to stone the spies who encouraged them to trust the Lord and take the land.
- Caleb and Joshua expressed their trust in God and their love for Israel when they spoke the truth to the people in verse 9, “Only do not rebel against the Lord.”
- The Lord’s immediate verbal response to the rebellion of the people was expressed in a desire to destroy the nation and start over with Moses (As if Moses would become the new Abraham).
- The judgment of God against the people turned the fear of the people on its head (Verses 28-35)!
- The things the people feared would happen, the Lord made it the opposite.
- Once the people realized their error, they impetuously sought to go take the land, and they suffered for it.
- The people conveyed a worldly grief (2 Corinthians 7:9-11). They thought all of this was about going in to conquer the land, when at it’s root level it was about believing and obeying God.
- They disobeyed God in order to try to “undo” their disobedience to God, on their own terms. This was not repentance.
Questions to consider:
- What was the nature of Moses’ appeal to the Lord not to destroy the nation? For whose glory and reputation was Moses concerned? Based on what information did Moses make his appeal (Verse 18)? How can the written Word of God fuel and inform our prayers?
- What did the death of the spies who rebelled against God communicate to the people? What must the people have known was true once the ten spies died and Caleb and Joshua remained alive and well in their sight? What is “safer,” pursuing the directive will of God or doing what looks easier in disobedience to Him?
- When we sin, are we supposed to “make it up to God?” Can we earn our good standing back? What had God provided for the people to be reconciled to Him in repentance? When we sin today, to whom are we to look for our rescue, hope, and forgiveness…to be made right with God? How has our sin been paid for? What does trusting and resting in Christ and subsequent repentance look like?