Summary: There are always consequences to face when we choose to go on our own path.
• SLIDE #1
• Today as we continue our reverse look at the story of God’s deliverance of the nation of Israel from the clutches of Egypt, we are going to look at entering into the Promised Land, 1.0.
• As we examine this stage of God’s deliverance of the nation, we are going to notice a couple of important principles that will help us to navigate life.
• One we will see is that when we choose to follow our own path, there are consequences that follow. Take the Israelites for example.
• As a result of the Israelites’ rebellion and unbelief, they suffered severe consequences.
• The generation who rebelled against God (all those who were 20 years of age and older, except Caleb, Joshua, and Moses) were prohibited from entering the promised land.
• They were doomed to keep circling the desert for another forty years until they ALL died, and the next generation could enter in.
• The other principle that we will see that is important for us to understand is that God will ALWAYS give us opportunities to act in faith.
• This is important to grasp because we need to know that God wants us to be faithful to Him and He will give us every opportunity to act in faith.
• Up to this point in Israel’s deliverance history, time and time again God proved Himself to be faithful, he proved that He could be trusted.
• From the plagues to the parting of the Red Sea and everything in between, God provided and protected the nation as they faced opportunity after opportunity to act in faith.
• As each test stood before them, God gave them every opportunity to act in faith.
• The reason this is important to understand, especially given the context of the message today on consequences, is that when we are in the throes of dealing with the consequences of our choices, we really cannot say that God put is in a position to fail.
• Today we will cover a lengthy passage in the book of Numbers. Remember the book of Numbers covers about 39 years of history (about 1144-1405 B.C.), most of it was the wandering in the wilderness after refusing to enter into the Promised Land.
• This book takes us from about thirteen months after the Exodus from Egypt to the wandering in the wilderness.
• The book gets its name from two numberings of the Israelites, the first at Mt. Sini in chapter one and the second on the plains of Moab in chapter 26.
• Let’s begin by reading Numbers 13:26-29.
• SLIDE #2
• Numbers 13:26–29 (CSB) — 26 The men went back to Moses, Aaron, and the entire Israelite community in the Wilderness of Paran (PAYRAN) at Kadesh KAY DESH). They brought back a report for them and the whole community, and they showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They reported to Moses: “We went into the land where you sent us. Indeed it is flowing with milk and honey, and here is some of its fruit. 28 However, the people living in the land are strong, and the cities are large and fortified. We also saw the descendants of Anak (A KNACK) there. 29 The Amalekites are living in the land of the Negev; the Hethites (HETH ITES), Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the Jordan.”
• SLIDE #3
I. Opportunity knocks! (13:26-33)
• Imagine living a life where your life belonged to other people. Imagine a life in which you had little to no control of anything in your life.
• Now imagine one day being free!
• Imagine seeing the plagues of Egypt, imagine being released from slavery in Egypt and then seeing the mighty Egyptian army in pursuit of you.
• THEN imagine thinking that life was over, you are on the shore of the Red Sea, which is in front of you, and behind you, the Egyptian Army is fast approaching.
• THEN, God uses Moses to part the Red Sea, and you escape.
• It had probably been about thirteen months since they left Egypt and now God has them on the verge of getting into the Promised Land.
• Opportunity is knocking. God is giving the people the chance to be faithful, what will they do?
• As I explained in an earlier message, the people wanted to scout the land before entering, and in Numbers 13, God told Moses to send in some spies.
• Why did they want this and why did God allow it?
• Lack of faith on the part of the nation is why they asked, and God allowed so He could test them.