Reflections on Numbers 12-14

Our passage today is the turning point of the book.  On the verge of entering the land, the people rebel.

  • Grumbling and Unbelief – The spies return with tales of giants, and the people begin to grumble again.  They refuse to believe God can bring them into the land.  Note that grumbling flows out of unbelief: they didn’t believe so they grumbled.  When you grumble, you are failing to trust God.  Ponder how this truth intersects your life.
  • God’s Judgment – God decrees that none of the people over 20 years old will enter the land.   Instead they will wander around in the wilderness for 40 years.  Tragically they missed the blessing God had intended for them.  Rebellion against God is serious!  Sin has consequences.
  • God’s faithfulness – Despite their rebellion, God doesn’t utterly reject them.  He will bring their children into the land.  He will keep his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  As if to make this clear, God starts chapter 15 with the words, “When you come into the land….”  God’s purpose will stand.  You can trust God to be faithful to his promises even in spite of our sins.
  • Good examples – In the midst of the rebellion, three men show us a better way.  When the mountain in your path seems gigantic, will you trust God like Caleb and Joshua?  When all around you are walking in sin, will you courageously stand like Caleb and Joshua?  When you see people straying and judgment nearing, will you intercede with God like Moses?  Don’t follow the crowd.  Swim against the current and live for God!

About Brian

Follower of Christ, Husband, Dad, and Pastor
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