Yesterday, we talked about how the Israelites dropped the ball with God and we are now in the place where Moses tells them the fruits or outcome of their actions.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
34 “And the Lord heard your words and was angered, and he swore, 35 ‘Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land that I swore to give to your fathers, 36 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh. He shall see it, and to him and to his children I will give the land on which he has trodden, because he has wholly followed the Lord!’ 37 Even with me the Lord was angry on your account and said, ‘You also shall not go in there. 38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.
The Israelites dropped the ball and they dropped it pretty hard to the point that they forfeited their blessings from God and Moses is included in this group! Joshua and Caleb are the only two people in the original group of Israelites that left Egypt that were going to inherit the promise land. What distinguished them from the rest? They wholly followed God in that they trusted in His words and obeyed His commandments fully. They did not conform to the crowd but set themselves apart even if they were the minority and thus they cherished the presence of God, rather than the false sense of security of being in the crowd. To stand out from a crowd is nerve wracking and to follow God is most definitely going stand out! That is why I believe to be a Christian or a genuine follower of God is not appealing because you will stand out and at times judged for it but He is worth it.
I know that the word consequence has a negative feel to it as it usually is associated with punishment but in terms of consequence, lets see it in the light that it is an outcome of an action. For the Moses and the other 99.99% of the Israelites, the consequences of their faithlessness led to forfeiting God and the blessing. For Joshua and Caleb, they continue to walk with the Lord into the blessing. Where Joshua and Caleb was able to finally get what God promised, the other Israelites got what they chose, their old lives back. As it is stated in verse forty,
“But as for you, turn, and journey into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.”
The fruit of their faithlessness led to God banishing them back to the life that they were set free from and thus they were going backwards. That is what sin is, it’s backwards, forfeits God, forfeits blessings, forfeits forward progression, and puts in you in a posture of your former identity before Christ. Sin promises gains but gives only pains of the former life that was apart from God.
41 “Then you answered me, ‘We have sinned against the Lord. We ourselves will go up and fight, just as the Lord our God commanded us.’ And everyone of you fastened on his weapons of war and thought it easy to go up into the hill country.42 And the Lord said to me, ‘Say to them, Do not go up or fight, for I am not in your midst, lest you be defeated before your enemies.’ 43 So I spoke to you, and you would not listen; but you rebelled against the command of the Lord and presumptuously went up into the hill country. 44 Then the Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do and beat you down in Seir as far as Hormah. 45 And you returned and wept before the Lord, but the Lord did not listen to your voice or give ear to you. 46 So you remained at Kadesh many days, the days that you remained there.
A little too late! They now tried to obey God but not because they wanted to be with God but because they realized that they were forfeiting their blessing. The blessing was more important than the presence and it is shown when they still went up even when God told them He was not with them. Something to ask ourselves when it comes to repentance.
Trust and faithfulness in God reaps the fruit of blessing and His presence
Sin is going backwards!
Repentance is not feeling sad because you got caught but true repentance is the realization that you and I have hurt the heart of God.