Today you should read: Numbers 14
When God rescued the Israelites from Egypt, He performed 10 miraculous signs—signs that pummeled Egypt and her gods. Pharaoh, considered a living god, was responsible for keeping order. As chaos reigned through the plagues, his impotence was magnified. Eventually, after the death of Egypt’s firstborn, Israel was released from bondage.
Yesterday, we read how 10 of the 12 spies reported back that, “we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” At this report, and despite Caleb’s protestations, “all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, ‘Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!’”
The Lord is fed up with Israel’s rebellion and Moses pleads on their behalf. The Lord yields to Moses’ request saying, “Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it.”
10-times Yahweh’s power and glory outshone the best of Egypt, and 10-times Israel tested God and didn’t listen. The 10th plague cost the life of Egypt’s firstborn. The 10th act of disobedience nearly cost Israel their lives, but instead it cost them an inheritance. Instead of rest, they must march. Instead of peace, they must struggle. Instead of a land flowing with milk and honey, they wondered in a barren wilderness. The retained their lives, but lost its abundance.
Very rarely is the result of our disobedience so tangibly felt. Sin always has a price-tag, but many times we fail to associate the cost because we do not see our sin rightly.
God has not established a reward system for obedience—as if we get to “name it and claim it.” However, He has providentially established a world of order, one of sowing and reaping. Scripture is clear that sowing righteousness leads to reaping abundance. This is not necessarily a promise, but it is an established pattern.
How have you seen God respond as you’ve obeyed Him? We see God answer prayer, bless us, and provide for us in amazing ways. Yet, how many times do we doubt that He will answer our prayer, bless, or provide? We criticize Israel for doubting after seeing God move, yet how often do we doubt after seeing God move in our lives and in the lives of those around us?
The 10 spies didn’t hear God’s promise because they saw giants. Don’t let the trouble you see in your life make you forget to hear God’s Word. May God’s words toward Caleb be true of us as well, “My servant Caleb…had a different spirit and has followed Me fully.” Let us watch God move and understand that His faithfulness in the past is a promise for His faithfulness in the future.
For an excellent message on Numbers 14, check out this 30-minute video.
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate
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