Numbers 14:20

 

 

The Bible says in Numbers 14:20-24, “And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:[21] But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.[22] Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;[23] Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:[24] But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.” God said in verse twenty, “I have pardoned.” God forgives sins. He forgives the sins of His believers too. The sins and doubts of the children of Israel and of the ten who brought back a bad report about the Promised Land were great sins, but God forgave them. If God forgave in the Old Testament when they were under the law, then He forgives us even more now that we are in the times of the New Testament and have the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

 

After God said that He had forgiven them, notice what He said in verse twenty-one, “But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” God does not want people to sin. God hates sin. God hates sin in believers. What is God’s will: that there be no sin at all. He said, “all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” That is going to happen. That is why Jesus will come back a second time. That is why one of the main characteristics of heaven will be: no sin. God will make it happen because He is holy and that is what He wants to happen.

 

One of the things to notice about the above Bible verses is that even though God forgave them, there were still consequences in this life to their sins. If you rob a bank, God will still forgive you if you repent and confess your sins, but you will still go to prison for twenty years. It says to Christians in Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” The ten who gave the bad report based upon doubt and rebellion would not be allowed to ever enter the land of Canaan. But God honored Caleb, and God said in verse twenty-four, “But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.”

 

The Bible says in Numbers 14:25-27, “(Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.[26] And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,[27] How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.” Notice what God says in verse twenty-five: “turn you, and get you into the wilderness.” God is not going to let them go into the Promised Land at this time. He is going to make them stay in the wilderness. Why? In verse twenty-seven God used the words “murmur” or “murmurings” three times. Once God has saved us, He wants us to grow and to learn to live by faith in Him. If you do not go to church services to be a part of the gatherings of believers, and you do not read the Bible and pray like you should, you will live like a human being subject to the excesses of human actions and responses and you will not be a spiritual person. Jesus said, “God is a Spirit; they that worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” When you murmur and complain, you are denying God and His promises. Is Jesus in your life? Is God directing everything that happens to you? If you are living by faith, then you know He is. Be careful or you also will commit the sin of murmuring and complaining.

 

The Bible says in Numbers 14:28-35, “Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:[29] Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,[30] Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.[31] But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.[32] But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.[33] And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.[34] After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.[35] I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.” To say the least God was not happy when ten of the twelve spies had a bad report and a negative view of the land of Canaan, and the multitude of the people believed them instead of Caleb who had the message that was consistent with God’s Word: the message of faith and hope. God listened to the intercession of Moses and did not destroy all the people, but there were still consequences in this life. Your decisions to believe God or not in any situation can have significant consequences for your life in this world. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” If you do not go through a door that God opens, He might choose to close that door, and your life will be much different than it otherwise would have been. The Israelites had a severe consequence to not believing God and Caleb about the land of Canaan: not one of the adults except for Caleb and Joshua would ever step into the land of Canaan. They would wander in the wilderness until they all died. God said in verse thirty-five, “in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.”

 

It is interesting to note that anyone under twenty years old was not held responsible for what happened. Sometimes we wonder at what age God starts holding people responsible spiritually speaking. When you die, if you have not accepted Christ as your Savior, you will not go to heaven. But of course, babies and little children automatically go to heaven. Jesus said in Matthew 19:14, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” It only makes sense that a just God would not keep babies of children out of heaven. They are not mature enough to be held responsible for their own decisions. But the question is: at what age is someone held responsible for his or her own decision to believe in Christ or not? It probably varies with the individual, but it is interesting that in this passage of scripture, they were not held responsible until they were twenty years old. God is fair, and God gives extra chances; but the chances do not last forever. Believe God and turn to Jesus for forgiveness while there is time.

 

The Bible says in Numbers 14:36-45, “And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,[37] Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.[38] But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.[39] And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly.[40] And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned.[41] And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper.[42] Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies.[43] For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.[44] But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.[45] Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.” These verses start off by once again saying how the ten messengers with the wrong message had sinned. The first thing said in verse thirty-six is “made all the congregation to murmur.” In other words their negative influence on other people was a terrible result of their negative message. Some of your greatest sins may not be what you do against God, but what you do that influences others to go the wrong way. Drinking alcohol is a good example of that. A few people can control their alcohol and control it, but if they encourage others to drink, and some of those others become alcoholics? It says in Habakkuk 2:15, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!” Jesus said in Matthew 18:6, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” To “offend” means to “cause to stumble:” in other words to lead a child astray.

 

Notice that verse thirty-six says that the ten “a slander upon the land,” and verse thirty-seven says that they “the evil report upon the land.” Be careful about speaking against any part of God’s world and its possibilities. Just like God gave the land of Canaan to the Jewish people, God has given the entire world to all human beings to enjoy, to conquer, and to accomplish. It says in Genesis 1:31 after God created all things, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good

 

Living under the law and the severity of its judgments, notice what happened to the ten who made the negative analysis. It says in verse thirty-seven that they “died by the plague before the LORD.” And then in verse forty the people seemed to have learned their lesson. They said that now they wanted to “go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned.” But it was too late. The law can be very unforgiving. I would choose grace through Christ instead of law if I were you. But there is a practical lesson here too. You better go through an open door if God gives one to you. If God decides to close it, you will never get it open again by your own efforts. Notice the result when they tried to go into Canaan by their own efforts even though now the Lord told them not to do so. It says in verse forty-five, “Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.”

 

The Bible says in Numbers 15:1-12, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,[2] Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you,[3] And will make an offering by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savour unto the LORD, of the herd, or of the flock:[4] Then shall he that offereth his offering unto the LORD bring a meat offering of a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of oil.[5] And the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering shalt thou prepare with the burnt offering or sacrifice, for one lamb.[6] Or for a ram, thou shalt prepare for a meat offering two tenth deals of flour mingled with the third part of an hin of oil.[7] And for a drink offering thou shalt offer the third part of an hin of wine, for a sweet savour unto the LORD.[8] And when thou preparest a bullock for a burnt offering, or for a sacrifice in performing a vow, or peace offerings unto the LORD:[9] Then shall he bring with a bullock a meat offering of three tenth deals of flour mingled with half an hin of oil.[10] And thou shalt bring for a drink offering half an hin of wine, for an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.[11] Thus shall it be done for one bullock, or for one ram, or for a lamb, or a kid.[12] According to the number that ye shall prepare, so shall ye do to every one according to their number.” The children of Israel now must wander through the wilderness for forty years, none of the current adult generation except for Caleb and Joshua will be allowed to enter the Promised Land, the ten died of a plague, and the Amalekites defeated the children of Israel in battle. All of this happened because of not trusting in the Lord and not believing His Word. But in spite of all this, notice what God says in verse two, “When ye be come into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you.” God looks to the future. God will always find a way to keep His promises. God promised Abraham that God would make of Abraham a great nation and God is going to keep that promise. By the way, God is still working on it. God is not finished. And by the way, God is not finished with you either. He promised to make you more and more like Christ. Put your faith in God and let Him have His way. All of the offerings of innocent animals looked to the future also: when the Lamb of God would come and die for the sins of the world.  

 

 

 

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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