June 1, 2010, "More Concerned About the Reputation of God"
Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
Numbers 13 & 14
What I have written is a bit lengthy...but please read...I believe you will be blessed as I was.
As I was preparing to teach the children on Sunday, I was inspired as I read Numbers 13 & 14. I have heard and read the message of the twelve scouts many times. However, little did I know what I was about to learn!
Before preparing, I was outside listening to the 'music' of nature as I heard the birds singing. I sat at my picnic table on the back patio, and went to the Lord in humble adoration. I prayed for His insight and a glimpse of what He wanted me to learn. As I prayed this prayer, I was beyond blessed to catch another glimpse of our glorious God and his servant, Moses.
First of all, Moses by the leading of God, directed the 12 scouts to the following instructions (The twelve scouts that were appointed were the heads of each of their tribes, Moses called Joshua which was of the tribe of Ephraim):
1.) Get up this way by the South and go up into the hill country
(This revealed that most likely there may have been another route to get to the Land of Canaan, however, God was very specific as to the direction they were to go).
2.) See if the people who dwell there are strong or weak
3.) See if the people are few or many
4.) See if the land they live in is good or bad
5.) See if the cities they dwell in are camps or strongholds
6.) See if the land is fat or lean
7.) See if the land has timber on it or not
8.) Be of good courage
9.) Bring some of the fruit of the land
After the scouts went into the land of Canaan, many of us know what took place. They did everything they were instructed to do. However, the only instruction the 10 scouts did not adhere to was number eight...Be of good courage, the most important instruction of all. The ten out of the twelve scouts came back and reported of the Nephilim (giants) to all of the people with great distress. To give us an idea of the strong giants (which were of the mingling of fallen angels and human women), one cluster of grapes that were carried back had to be carried on a pole by two men...one cluster of grapes...think about that...that is massive...yet even in that...instruction #8 was the most important...BE OF GOOD COURAGE!
I try to imagine vs. 33 of chapter 13. "We were in our own sight as grasshoppers..." This was a fact according to the instruction given. Remember, they were to report back to see if they were strong or weak. Yet, even in that 'fact'...instruction #8 was still the most important...BE OF GOOD COURAGE!
After the grumbling and complaining as recorded in chapter 14, Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the people. Joshua and Caleb (the two out of the 12 scouts) were among the scouts and they tore their clothes. I imagine they yelled at all of the people, "The land through which we passed as scouts is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land of and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, neither fear the people, for they are the ones who God will use to provide for us. The Lord is with us. Fear them not."
Then after this pleading God's anger was provoked by the lack of Trust from the people. Did they already forget what He had done and provided. God said to Moses, "I will smite them with pestilence and disinherit them, and will make of you (Moses) a nation greater and mightier than they."
Wow! God promises Moses that he will make him a nation greater and mightier...but watch Moses' response: "What about the ones who have heard of You Lord and your Deliverance over these people. The people of Egypt and in other lands have heard what you have done. You were their Cloud by Day and Pillar of Fire by night. Now if you kill all these people as one man, then the nations that have heard your fame will say, "God was unable to deliver them out of the wilderness. God, I pray let the power of You Lord be great, as You have promised. Lord, you are long suffering and slow to anger, and abundant in mercy and loving-kindness, forgiving sin and transgression...pardon, I pray You the sin of this people according to Your loving-kindness, just as You have forgiven them from Egypt until now."
After hearing this pleading of the people's pardon from Moses, God says, "I have pardoned according to your word." Wow! I wondered, was this a test of Moses' character? Well, he definitely passed, wouldn't you say?
As I read the history of this amazing story, I realized that even after God promised Moses that He would make him a nation greater and mightier than them, Moses response was amazing (Numbers 14:14-20). Moses could have cared less about making him a greater nation; he wanted God to be reminded of His own loving-kindness and mercies toward His people. Moses cared more for the people even in their selfish groanings. Yet, even more than this, what causes me to shake my head in awe is that Moses cared more about the reputation of God than himself! I have to write it again, Moses cared more about the reputation of God than himself! Wow!
I am reminded that I must yearn to know my God as Moses did. To yearn with compassion for others more than myself; yet even more than that, caring more about the reputation of my God than myself.