Wrestling with Truth August 28, 2011

An Opportunity for Courage

NUMBERS 13 and 14  from The Outline Bible by Harold L. Willmington

The Penetration of the Scouts (Numbers 13:1-25)
The names of the men (1-16)
The nature of the mission (17-25)

The Lamentation of the People (Numbers 13:26-14:10)
The report of the scouts (13:26-33; 14:6-10)
The faithless reports of the ten (13:26-33)
The faithful report of the two (14:6-10)
The reaction of the crowd (14:1-5)

The Supplication (Prayer) of the Prophet (Numbers 14:11-21)
The proposition (14:11-12)
The plea (14:13-19)
The pardon (14:20-21)

The Condemnation of the Lord (Numbers 14:22-45)
The punishment (14:22-28)
The presumption (14:39-45)

Genesis tells us that God chooses His people.
Exodus tells us that God redeems His people.
Leviticus tells us that God is among His people.
Numbers tell us that God commissions His people.
Deuteronomy tells us that God loves His people. (Smith, p. 127)

Pertinent verses to ponder:
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV) — . . . fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Isaiah 53:11 (NIV) — After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied by his knowledge . . .
1 Corinthians 10:1-5 (NIV) — For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.  They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.  They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.  Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

Looking back on the history of the church, it is clear that some generations have contributed more to advancing the purposes of God than others.  The book of Numbers leads us to expect that this would be the case; not all generations serve willingly.  A critical spirit among people and a cowardly spirit among leaders will lead to an aimless wandering, which will contribute little to the purposes of God in the world.
The greatest challenge for the church of Jesus Christ is to grasp her calling, and then to look beyond the cost to the prize of God’s commendation.  (Colin Smith, p. 136)


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