February 17, 2017

February 17, 2017

NUMBERS 14-15

Focus Verse: “Then they got up early the next morning and went to the top of the range of hills. ‘Let’s go,’ they said. ‘We realize that we have sinned, but now we are ready to enter the land the Lord has promised us.’

But Moses said, ‘Why are you now disobeying the Lord’s orders to return to the wilderness? It won’t work. Do not go up into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the Lord is not with you. When you face the Amalekites and Canaanites in battle, you will be slaughtered. The Lord will abandon you because you have abandoned the Lord.”

Numbers 14:40-43

 

Delayed obedience is disobedience. Disobedience is also disobedience. And somehow the Israelites manage to pull both of those off in one shot here. The Israelites are right on the cusp of the Promised Land…close enough to actually touch it! But, again, they take their eyes off of God and put them on the situation.

Their problem becomes bigger than their faith in God, and they decide to give up. The scary thing is…God lets them. He doesn’t plead with them to take His promise. He says, “Fine. Then turn around and go back to the wilderness.” He banishes them to forty years of wilderness wandering, until all of the Israelites older than twenty years dies. Clearly the Promised Land is better than that! So they try to take it any way.

They take the battle on themselves. God wasn’t big enough to do it, but now, all of a sudden, they are? Well they aren’t. They get slaughtered by the Amalekites and Canaanites.

I wonder how many times we do this. God has promised us or called us to do something for Him, but it looks too big for us. That’s the whole point though! He wants it to be too big for us. Then we can’t take credit for it! But too many times we are too afraid to take that step. So God moves on. But we don’t want that either! So we grab for what was once promised to us. Only thing is…is not ours. It never was.

We want God on our terms. We want His promises on our terms. It’s not fair that we should have to give up family time for that. It’s not fair that someone got that promotion instead of me. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve waited patiently on Him. I deserve for this to be a cakewalk…not for there to be giants standing in between me and what God has promised me! I shouldn’t have to work for this!

And believe it or not, God is ok with that attitude. You just can’t expect Him to do any of the fighting for you anymore.

The Israelites found that out the hard way. Let’s learn from their mistakes.

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