Friday, March 18, 2011

The Spies!

So we are in Numbers now and there is a lot going on!

The sons of Israel were still grumbling.

Moses would go before the Lord and intercede on their behalf.

The spies went out, came back, and blew it.

The Lord decided they would die in the wilderness:

"Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice,
 shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it.
 But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it." Numbers 14:22-24

The Lord is not happy.  He decides to punish those who have experience HIS glory and HIS signs, and have not listened.  They will not enter the land.

Caleb, however, had a different spirit, and followed the Lord...FULLY!  The Lord blesses this spirit, and promises Caleb will enter the land!

Oh that the Lord would say that about our family some day.  That we have a different spirit, and follow the Lord fully!

After the Israelites hear this, they take matters into their own hands.

"When Moses spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, the people mourned greatly.
 In the morning, however, they rose up early and went up to the ridge of the hill country, saying, Here we are; we have indeed sinned, but we will go up to the place which the LORD has promised."
 But Moses said, "Why then are you transgressing the commandment of the LORD, when it will not succeed?
 "Do not go up, or you will be struck down before your enemies, for the LORD is not among you.
 "For the Amalekites and the Canaanites will be there in front of you, and you will fall by the sword, inasmuch as you have turned back from following the LORD. And the LORD will not be with you."
 But they went up heedlessly to the ridge of the hill country; neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses left the camp.
 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down, and struck them and beat them down as far as Hormah. Numbers 14:39-45

The Israelites reacted to that sobering news, fumbled around and took matters into their own hands.  They didn't get it.  They did not really hear what the Lord had said.  They filtered out what they thought was the good news, and heedlessly took off to claim the promised land.

And were slaughtered.

Ya know, reading through the Old Testament can be very sobering.  God is really into the details, and really expected the Israelites to pay attention to them.  God gave them details, so that HE might dwell among them.  And when the Israelites ignored those details, they felt the consequences.  Going it alone did not work.  They ran off, without the Ark, without Moses, without God's presence, and were pummelled.

Going it alone does not work.  It did not work back then, and it does not work now.  But for some reason we keep trying it.

We need God's presence.  We need His protection.  And we cannot enjoy either if we chose to go it alone.

Check out Proverbs 10:29-30
The Way of the Lord is a stronghold for the upright, but ruin to workers of iniquity.
The righteous will never be shaken, but the wicked will not dwell in the land.

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