Message: “Ignoring God-Suffering the Consequences”
Scripture Reading: Numbers 13-14 (NLT)
Memory Verse: 1 Samuel 15:22–23
But Samuel replied, "What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king." (NLT)
What Does the Text Say?
The children of Israel have spent two years around Mt. Sinai, now God has them on the move to conquer and occupy the land He had promised them. They arrive on the edge of the Promised Land at Kadesh Barnea and Moses selects twelve men to go into the Promised Land and check it out before sending in the whole group. One man from each of the twelve tribes were chosen as spies. The spies were gone for forty days then returned to report to Moses.
When the spies were questioned about the Promised Land they gave glowing reports about the abundance of food, a land said to be flowing with milk and honey, BUT ten of the spies also said the land was occupied by giants, descendants of Anak, that they were fierce and could not be overcome.
Joshua and Caleb were two of the twelve spies, they had seen the abundance of land and they had seen the giants, BUT their take was that God will go with them, God had provided for them in the past and He would again provide them with whatever they needed to overcome the giants and take the land.
The Children of Israel began to cry and weep and there was great fear among them. They were resentful of Moses and Aaron for taking them out of Egypt only to die here in the desert or at the hands of the giants in the Promised Land. Even though Caleb again reminded them of how God had taken care of them to this point and how they could count on Him in taking the Promised Land, the people refused to go in.
God appeared in the presence of the Children of Israel, speaking to Moses asking him, How long will these people treat me with contempt” He told Moses He would destroy them, but save you and your followers and make an even greater nation from you. But Moses interceded for the Children of Israel, pleading for God to have mercy on them.
God listened to Moses and decided not to totally destroy the Children of Israel, but He would not go with them into the Promised Land at this time, He would have them wander in the desert for 40 years and would kill off all those persons twenty years and older.
The ten spies who gave a bad report about the Promised Land died of a plague, only Joshua and Caleb were spared. The Children of Israel decided to try to enter the Promised Land without God’s Protection and they were crushed by their enemies. So for the next forty years the Children of Israel would wander in the desert, with many dying in the wilderness, but during the time of wandering, the people 19 years and younger would become stronger, would develop a closer walk with God, their clothes would not were out, neither would their sandals. Forty years later this hardened group will be ready to go in and conquer the Promised Land.
Personal Thoughts that Stand Out to Me
God had shown the Children of Israel that He was both powerful enough to control the seas and defeat the Egyptians, but they were stuck in their slave mentality and found fear and worry at every turn Those that followed after God were rewarded for their obedience and were allowed to experience the good things of the Promised Land.
I find that I must constantly come back to God for His strength and power to work in my life, to overcome my fears and overcome the oppositions that the enemy throws in my path.
Additional Bible Verses to Review
Matthew 15:11 ESV
It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.'
So I will choose their punishments And will bring on them what they dread Because I called, but no one answered; I spoke, but they did not listen And they did evil in My sight And chose that in which I did not delight."
Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.
But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place--unless you repent.
He who said to them, "Here is rest, give rest to the weary," And, "Here is repose," but they would not listen.
Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'
"Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Behold, I am bringing on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them; because I spoke to them but they did not listen, and I have called them but they did not answer.'"
"Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!