Death sentence on the rebels

Before the judgment seat of Christ my service will not be judged by how much I have done but by how much of me there is in it. No man gives at all until he has given all. No man gives anything acceptable to God until he has first given himself in love and sacrifice. (A. W. TOZER … More

Judgment

The LORD told Moses and Aaron to remind the people of Israel how they had complained against Him too many times (vv 26-27). He says he is going to give them exactly what they wanted (v. 28).  They will die in the dessert and their dead bodies will cover the ground (v. 29). Because of their disbelief none of the men over 20 years of age will enter the promised land except Joshua and Caleb (v. 30). The children will get to enter the land but the adults will die in the desert (vv. 31-32). The children will wander around the desert for forty years, suffering because of the sins of the older generation (v. 33). This will continue until the older generation are all dead (vv. 34-35).

God’s judgment came in the form the people feared the most. They were afraid of dying in the wilderness, so God punished them by making them wander in the wilderness until they died. At this point they would have wished they had the problem of facing the giants and the fortified cities of the Promised Land. Failing to trust God often brings greater problems than those faced originally. When we run from God we often run into problems.

God had brought the people to the edge of the Promised Land just as He said He would. He was ready to give the people this rich land but they didn’t want it (14:1-2). The whole nation except for Joshua, Caleb, Moses and Aaron showed contempt for and distrust in God. The men that Moses sent to search the land returned and made all the congregation grumble and complain against him by bringing back a slanderous report of the land (vv. 36-37). Even those men who brought the evil report of the land died by a plague before the Lord. However, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among the men who went to search the land, contiued to live (v. 38).

Application

When I fail to trust God and try to take things into my own hands I usually run into bigger promblems than what I may have had originally. It is amazing at how much God will put up with before he brings judgment my way.

Numbers 14:26-38 (English Standard Version)

And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, "How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. Say to them, 'As I live, declares the LORD, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected. But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, a year for each day, you shall bear your iniquity forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.' I, the LORD, have spoken. Surely this will I do to all this wicked congregation who are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die." And the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing up a bad report about the land-- the men who brought up a bad report of the land--died by plague before the LORD. Of those men who went to spy out the land, only Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive.

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