Read Numbers 14
The turning point of the nation of Israel is revealed by their rebellion at Kadesh. Is this the generation of conquest or of wasted lives? The reward of the faithful and judgment of the faithless (Num. 14:22-23,34).
It seems incredible that the children of Israel would cry out in foolish rebellion: Were it not better for us to return into Egypt? (Num. 14:3). All the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron. . . . Let us make a captain, and let us return to Egypt (14:2,4). How could they forget that God had answered their prayer? When their suffering had become unbearable, God had spared them from continued slavery and miraculously opened the Red Sea and delivered them from Egypt.
Let us make a captain. The One True Guide had been rejected! It appears from Nehemiah 9:17 that they actually appointed a leader. Could they expect God to lead, defend, and provide for them on such a journey; which was entirely opposed to His will? Did they expect that God would again open the Red Sea and allow them to return to Egypt? The very root of their self-destructive unbelief was rebellion, which refuses to accept the ability and integrity of God to fulfill His promises.
In bold opposition to the majority opinion, Caleb shouted his faith in the promises of God when he said: Let us go up at once . . . we are able to possess the land (13:30). Caleb had faith to recognize the vital importance of obeying the Word of God as their Guide, regardless of circumstances. It appears that the Israelites were ready to stone Caleb and Joshua, who were willing to die for their faith, trusting in the promises of God. God rewarded the faithfulness of Caleb who later asked if he could possess Hebron as his inheritance in the promised land. His willingness to remain faithful resulted in being able to enjoy his choice in the promised land.
One of the severest tests of sincerity is found in the willingness to remain faithful to Christ when it seems like everyone is against you. It is no surprise that God declared: My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit in him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it (14:24). Our usefulness to God lies in obedience, and the measure of our usefulness is determined by our faith in the Word of God and the degree of our discipline and submission to the will of God. By faith Abraham . . . obeyed. . . . Through faith also Sara . . . was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised (Heb. 11:8,11).
Thought for Today:
Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of the rams (I Sam. 15:22).
As the glory of God (Num. 14:22). Jesus Christ is the brightness of His glory (the glory of God), and the express image of His person (Heb. 1:3).
14:33 bear your whoredoms suffer for your unfaithfulness; 15:30 doeth ought presumptuously is guilty of a deliberate sin; 15:34 in ward in custody; 15:38 ribband shread or cord.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY) • Country: Tonga (109,000) in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: Tongan and English • Religious freedom • 55% Protestant; 22% Mormon; 14% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that Christians would be united as Christ and God are one (John 17:11,21).
Optional Reading: Luke 6