Numbers 14:1 – 16:35
Well, the story continues… The people heard the reports about the promised land and freaked out. They forgot that they were only there because of God’s faithfulness to His promise. They seemed to think that they were in control and they couldn’t see how they would win any battle so they…
What do you think they did?
…rebelled. Instead of trusting God and that he would be faithful in fulfilling his promise, they rejected God’s rule (as well as God’s chosen leaders, Moses and Aaron) and sought to establish their own leadership. What was God’s response? Did they really think that he would just accept their rebellion?
I was really challenged by the reminder of God’s graciousness and mercifulness. Israel’s sin was great and it grieved God. He couldn’t be in relationship with them because of their sin, their rebellion against Him. God needed punishment for sin as his character demands justice. God graciously forgives Israel after Moses’ cry for forgiveness on behalf of the people but “…nevertheless…” he still requires punishment. The punishment – all the rebellious people would wander the desert. Those who rebelled against God would NOT enter into the promised land.
Today’s reading ends with another rebellion against God and his servants. What an ending – 14, 700 people die as a consequence of their rebellion. These people were jealousy and were motivated by pride. They wanted to push themselves forward to be first in God’s household. Instead of being in awe of God’s presence, they arrogantly wanted to climb the “career” ladder. Amazing how easily they forgot the purpose of being God’s people… This reminded me of Pete’s talk on Sunday – that we, who know God’s amazing grace in Jesus, forget the treasure of the gospel, we forget that grace is something to be SO thankful for. We forget the depth of our sin and our unworthiness to be in the presence of God, in a relationship with Him under His Lordship.
My prayer for us is that we would continue to grow in awareness of our sin, of our pride in being good Christians, and that we would overflow with thankfulness for the grace shown to us by God in Jesus dying on the cross…