Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Numbers 14:26-30 (NIV)
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
Numbers 14:26-30 (MSG)
God spoke to Moses and Aaron: “How long is this going to go on, all this grumbling against me by this evil-infested community? I’ve had my fill of complaints from these grumbling Israelites. Tell them, As I live—God’s decree—here’s what I’m going to do: Your corpses are going to litter the wilderness—every one of you twenty years and older who was counted in the census, this whole generation of grumblers and grousers. Not one of you will enter the land and make your home there, the firmly and solemnly promised land, except for Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
“The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I put up with this evil congregation who murmur [in discontent] against Me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites, which they are making against Me. Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just what you have spoken in My hearing I will most certainly do to you; your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness, even all who were numbered of you, your entire number from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against Me. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, not one of you shall enter the land in which I swore [an oath] to settle you.” -AMPLIFIED
The book of Numbers demonstrates to us what happens when we are disobedient and unfaithful to God. Moses, following God’s directions, sends out 12 spies into the Promise Land. The spies return and only two of them come back with a good report, Joshua and Caleb. The people, out of fear, listened to the bad report of the ten spies; instead of listening to God and doing what He had directed them to do. For this reason God punished them and they wandered in the wilderness for forty years.
The Israelites were on the very cusp of receiving all of God’s promises for them and yet they balked. They allowed fear to stop them from obeying God. They came so close, but yet they missed out on the fullness of what God had intended for them. Unbelief kept them out of the Promised Land and they missed out on God’s blessings.
Israel wandered the wilderness for forty years because of their disbelief and disobedience. They brought this punishment upon themselves; in fact, if we look at Numbers 14:1-3 we get a pretty good idea of how poorly they were handling the situation. “The whole community was in an uproar, wailing all night long. All the People of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The entire community was in on it: “Why didn’t we die in Egypt? Or in this wilderness? Why has God brought us to this country to kill us? Our wives and children are about to become plunder. Why don’t we just head back to Egypt? And right now!” –(Message Version)
Scripture tells us that the people rebelled against God because of their disobedience. Samuel, the prophet, shared a few thoughts with King Saul about how serious rebellion and disobedience actually were to God. “For rebellion is as [serious as] the sin of divination (fortune-telling), and disobedience is as [serious as] false religion and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected [a]you as king.” -1 Samuel 15:23 (AMP)
Have you ever considered that many of us miss out on God’s blessings in our own lives because we have allowed unbelief and fear to cause us to disobey God? We come up with all kinds of excuses of why we cannot do what God has commanded us to do; instead of just doing the right thing and obeying Him. Let us be careful that we too are not rebelling against what God desires for our lives. Rebellion holds some very strong consequences.
Lord, I want to be obedient in doing your bidding. Fear, at times, can be a very strong feeling. Help me to keep my eyes focused on you and not on circumstances. Help me to trust you always and not to succumb to unbelief. I want to be known as faithful; not rebellious and I definitely do not want to miss out on any of the blessings that you have for me in my life. Obedience is always better than sacrifice; help me to obey.