Num 14:1-10 – The People Rebel

Christian MölkNumbers Leave a Comment

Num 14:1-4

  1. The amazing word “grumbled” comes originally from the word “stay”, in the sense of “to spend the night” or “to stay permanently”. The word is used to describe how someone gets stuck in a state of complaining and being obstinate.
  2. The people of Israel are complaining about Moses and Aaron, but they are really complaining about God, because it was God who had given Moses this promise to take the land of Canaan.
    1. If the ordinary parishioner feels that things are quiet or not working properly, it is easy to criticise the pastor or the leadership and think that things will get better if you change the pastor. But that may not be the problem.
    2. In this case, Moses was acting on behalf of God, but the people of Israel were frightened and became afraid when they saw the problems ahead. Israel decided that they would rather go back to their old life as slaves in Egypt than face the enemy in the land of Canaan.
      1. In the same way, you and I may feel anxious about the obstacles that stand between us and God’s promises, because we do not believe that it is possible to overcome the obstacles. Perhaps we give up and forsake all the good things God has promised us and go back to an ordinary life without faith in God.
  3. Israel’s rebellion against God’s plan is great. They accuse God of wanting to murder them and their children. But ironically, their rebellion led to their own death in the desert and their children’s entry into the land of Canaan.
  4. When you realize that it can actually be a struggle to enter into the blessings God has promised, it’s easy to shy away and abandon the idea of walking by faith and walking in the Spirit. But sometimes the very struggle against evil can be part of the promise God has made. For God has promised both to be in the fight against evil and to overcome evil.
  5. As a culmination of Israel’s rebellion, Israel says no to God’s plan, no to God’s leader, and no to God’s promised land.

Num 14:5-9

  1. In response to the people’s rebellion, the older leaders, Moses and Aaron, begin to pray to God, and the younger leaders, Joshua and Caleb, begin to preach to the people. The older ones are wise by experience and the young ones are enthusiastic about what God can do. Here we see that both the older and the younger serve an important function. Prayer and preaching are a good combination!
    1. Joshua and Caleb proclaim that one half of God’s promise, that the land will be a good land, is true. Therefore, they can also trust that the other half of the promise, that they will take the land with God’s help, will also be true.
      1. The miracles God has performed in our lives in the past often serve as a reminder that God is capable of performing more miracles in our lives.

Num 14:10

  1. Nothing can be more irritating to a believer without faith than a believer with faith.
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