Numbers 14:1-15:16, Mark 14:53-72, Psalms 53:1-6, Proverbs 11:4
Today is the 10th day of March, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it is great to be here with you today. Every day…every day…this my favorite spot around the Global Campfire every day. Looking forward to it every day and glad to be here today as we take the next step forward. And our next step forward leads us back into the book of Numbers. And we are with the children of Israel, who had moved away from Mount Sinai and had moved to the precipice of entering the promised land. And before entering this land of promise some spies, one from each tribe of Israel were sent into the land to spy it out, to find out what’s up, what’s going on, what kind of people are there, what kind of cities are there, what kind of agriculture is there, what’s up in this promised land as they were preparing to enter. the spies came back and essentially gave the report that it's…it’s really an awesome land. It’s only that we can’t possibly take this land. We’re grasshoppers compared to the people in the land. And that is where we left off, like literally with that drama hanging in the air. And, so, as we begin our reading from the book of Numbers today that’s where we are. We are immediately going to feel the response of the Israelites as they get the report that there are giants in the land. So, we’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week. Numbers chapter 14 verse 1 through 15, verse 16.
Okay, so let’s just kind of catch ourselves up here on where we are in the book of Numbers. We have been at the precipice of entering the promised land. Like, I was saying yesterday, like we’ve been moving toward this since the book of Genesis and we have seen that it’s been a long view, a long promise, a promise given to Abraham that has taken centuries to get us to this place, the threshold of the promised land. And the children of Israel have been delivered from Egyptian slavery in very miraculous fashion. We went through the entire plagues. We saw their deliverance. We saw all of them leave. We watched them go into the wilderness and we also watched Egypt change their minds and start asking themselves, what have we done by kicking the Israelites out? Like this is going to destroy our economy. And, so, they go back after the Israelites who are encamped by the Red Sea, and they are walled in by mountains and ocean and here come the Egyptians. And God splits the Red Sea, and they go across on dry ground in the Egyptian army is destroyed. So, like these people have seen things that very few people ever get to witness. And they head into the wilderness. And they have trouble finding water and they grumble. They’re not satisfied with food, so they grumble. They come to the mountain of God and encamp around it and God is going to come and speak directly with them and they fear and ask Moses basically to be God’s spokesperson. And, so, Moses is on the top of the mountain receiving the revelation from God. Meanwhile, the people are down below the mountain building a golden calf to worship because they don’t know what happened Moses. And, so, they’ve decided that the golden calf, this is…this is the God, this…this is who led you out of Egypt. This is the one that did all the mighty acts. This is the one who has got us here. And they’re dancing around and worshiping this idol. Mosses has to come down because God is like, you gotta go down and see what they’re doing. And the 10 Commandments are broken there. Moses grinds up the golden calf and puts it into the water and then eventually we get all this revelation of the law and about the tabernacle and about the priesthood and then they move out because it’s time to live this. They are prepared. They have received the revelation of what the statutes and celebrations and sacrifice…like all of the things that will weave a culture together and knit them together with a common story. And they have to go live it now. And they wander around and we watched them complain more. We have no meat. You remember the meat we used to eat for free when we were slaves in Egypt? And, so, God sends them meat to eat. At every turn, every time they face something that’s gonna be hard or that seems difficult to sort of process, something that they can’t figure out in their own strength then they just throw up their hands and start complaining about their leaders, which is Moses and Aaron and Miriam and the priesthood, or they complain directly about God. Every time they face something that they can’t navigate on their own, they lose it, when they are in the wilderness to learn something, that they are dependent, that they are chosen people of God, that He will protect them, that He will guide them, that it doesn’t matter what they see or what their fears are because those aren’t real. God is with them, and they have to learn to trust. And, so, we get to the precipice of the promised land and the spies are sent in and the spies come back and say it’s not possible. And the people lose it again. And it gets really erratic in our reading today. If only we had died in the land of Egypt. If only we had died in this wilderness. Why is the Lord wanting us to go into this land where everybody’s gonna be plunder? It would’ve been better for us to die in the wilderness than to die in battle and our families be taken into another kind of slavery. We should go back to Egypt. Let’s get a leader. Let’s appoint a new leader who will take us back to Egypt. That’s their initial response to finding out that they may have to contend for this promised land. They may have to actually live into the message of the wilderness, they are utterly dependent on God. They must trust God. And, so, Moses and Aaron are falling on their faces before the Lord and begging for mercy because God is like alright, what else do I have to do? Do you not remember what has happened to you as I let you out of slavery as I destroyed the Egyptian army, your enemy, as I provided food and water for you in the wilderness, as I revealed myself to you and built up keep a lot of you changing your identity from slaves to chosen, as I’ve led you right here to the threshold of your promise, what else do I have to do? An in the end what God determines is essentially you have not learned the lesson of the wilderness yet. This wilderness is here to shape you so that you can boldly live your lives without fear knowing that I am with you right in the middle of your camp. I am right in the middle of this story. Until you realize that it’s not gonna work out for you in this land of promise. You have to turn back. And in the process God determines that everyone who had seen all the things that we just talked about from Egypt forward, they had gotten to see this with their very own eyes. And now there’s an emerging generation, the next generation is beginning to take its foothold and to take its leadership. And, so, all of these people who had seen all that God had done, they could poison this next generation. And, so, they are being instructed to turn back into the wilderness and head back toward the Red Sea. And of course, some people begin to realize the gravity of the situation, and are like, we’re sorry, we want to obey God now. We want to obey Him. We’re sorry. We’re…let…let’s go, let’s do it. Moses is like, yeah, the lesson isn’t learned, and God is not with you and if you go in it’s not gonna go well, which is exactly what they did. They rebelled again after being instructed by the Lord again. They decided, no, we’re ready to obey You now and they go in and they get pummeled. And, so, that’s where we find ourselves, heading back into the wilderness as a new generation emerges. And we will see some review of things that we may have heard before in the giving of the law because this new generation is being taught to do what their parents would not. And in the process of all of this, the mistrust and distrust of God in the face of hardship is dooming a generation to die in the wilderness and is burdening a future generation to go do what their parents wouldn’t. There’s a generation of people that have to rise up and take the promised land when they were supposed to be the first generation to live free in it. Trusting God in the wilderness is one of the most important lessons ever learn in our lives and we will continue to circle and lead ourselves into places of wilderness until we learn this. We all find ourselves wandering in the wilderness in our lives from time to time. We find ourselves in wilderness seasons. If we can just hearken back to what the wilderness teaches us in the Bible, it’s that the lesson here, the growth here is to become intimately acutely aware that we are utterly dependent on God and we must trust Him. It is the only way forward. It is the only way out of the wilderness. And if we think about our wilderness seasons, we realize that those seasons take an awful lot of energy. They take a lot of emotional energy because it’s hard, but they take a lot of energy because we’re using all of our mental capacity to try to figure out how to get ourselves out of it when the lesson is trust. There is a path out of this into promise. Trust. Move forward one step at a time and trust that we are utterly dependent on God. He is our source of life. There is no other place to place our hope. There is no other. Trust is the lesson here. And we are watching the children of Israel simply mimic our own stories. And maybe this is a good time to realize that they are staying in the wilderness longer than they needed to. And maybe that’s true of us. Maybe if we we’re in the wilderness right now and we begin to trust that we won’t know matter what things look like we have moved one step toward freedom every single day, one step toward promise every single day, as we trust in the goodness of God and the wisdom of God in our lives.
Father, we invite You into that. This touches all of us, every single one of us as it touched Your people. And as You continue to teach and train them this brings an enormous perspective. And, so, now we repent and begin to change the way we were looking at things and change our minds and run toward You and not with accusation wondering why You’re not doing what we want You to do, but we run to You for protection. We trust You to help us navigate the seasons of our lives and when we stop doing that we feel like were alone in the wilderness and that speaks so much. And, so, we are so…we are so grateful for what You teach us in the Scriptures in the stories of the lives of those who have gone before us. Come Holy Spirit show us how to trust You, how to put our full hope in You alone no matter where we are in life. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
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