What they don't tell you in Sunday School

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm still meditating on Numbers 13-14. In Sunday School you hear a whole lot on the 12 spies and the image of them coming back with those huge grapes is pretty alive in my mind. How many of you know that children don't hear the whole story (at least I didn't) until they study the Bible for themselves? I didn't know 10 out of 12 got killed because they were complainers and they didn't believe God. God spared Caleb. This is what He said on Chapter 14:24

"But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it."

To have a different spirit and to follow God wholeheartedly. I want to be this way! The whole congregation murmured and complained against God's best. They blamed their children would suffer if they went on to possess the Promise Land. God pretty much said, 'I heard you grumbling against me. None of you will enter the promised land except Joshua and Caleb. You said your children would suffer but I will bring them to enjoy what you have rejected. Your bodies will fall in this dessert. Your children will suffer for your unfaithfulness for 40 years.' (see verses 28-34)
Now, there's more, the 10 spies who were the initiators of this pity party gone bad were struck down and died of a plague right there before God and everyone. 

There are consequences for unbelief. My mother used to tell me about this story when I complained about something as a child. She did spare the gory details of people dying on the spot. I didn't know how serious it was not to believe God. 

I'm not trying to scare anyone. I believe God always wanted to best for us. It's up to us to believe Him and follow His plan with our whole heart. It's amazing how even in your dessert, He will allow you to see your promise land - not for you to complain but so that you may have hope (see Jeremiah 29:11). Caleb got his land at the end of the story and so did his descendants. My attitude towards the promise of God influences even the lives of those coming after me. We go from glory to glory and those after me benefit from the blessings of God up to a thousand generations.

Two things to remember: don't be a complainer and follow God with your whole heart.