Summary: This sermon describes the results of the church (the children of Israel) not trusting and obeying God’s promise to enter into their Promised Land.
Sermon - #40
Title: “God says go, you say no”
Scripture – Numbers 14:1-4
Go – To be in motion, moving forward or ahead
No – Refusal, denial or negation
Background – In life today, many people appear to be standing in the same place. They are not progressing, they are not moving forward or achieving. Well, they are not moving for reasons such as not wanting to change, not willing to put forth any effort, not willing to face opposition, no aspirations, dreams or visions. As a result, they are wandering in a wilderness of failure and ultimately spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically and eventually they die. Why? They are not willing to be obedient to God’s will and his way or bluntly they want trust God.
In Numbers 13:26-31 the children of Israel had just received the report from the twelve sent out by Moses to spy out the Promised Land. Note that the report was mixed. The report was as follows: “And they told him, and said; we came unto the land wither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless, the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are able to overcome it. But the men (the ten) that went up with him said, we be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.” In other words, Moses (Pastor’s Name) had been given the orders from God to deliver the children of Israel out of bondage and into the Promised Land. God never said to them maybe, might, it’s a possibility, it could happen, it should happen or no it want happen. In fact he made them a promise that they would have a land flowing with milk and honey, if God said it that should have settled it. Let me put this in 2006 language, God says give your life to me and I will give you eternal life, God says you can have the king or queen you desire, just pray to me, God says you can have your life back from drugs, alcohol just surrender, you can have Queen’s Harbor, Epping Forest, Spring lake, you can have the job, the financial breakthrough just give me the tithe, you can even have peace, just surrender to me and guess what we say, NO!!! Let’s look at the determinants to why the children of Israel were saying no, when God was saying go
Reason #1 – Look at the despair (v.1), despair means to lose hope. The text says that the entire community (church) wept aloud, they despaired because of the report of the ten men who said we can’t do it, and they will take us out!!! The despair was the ten felt that the Canaanites were too strong to defeat, well who were the Canaanites (drugs, alcohol, banks, mortgage companies, welfare) Joshua and Caleb disagreed, urging the people to claim the land at once. However, the children of Israel sided with the ten; God had said it’s yours and if God said it that should have settled it, the children of Israel got caught up in the emotions and lost their perspective of God’s character. What if they had spent that energy they put forth going backward in going forward, in other words there are better ways to use energy than complaining against God. Have you ever watched some people you encourage to get an education, learn a trade, earn a degree or get a job, get off drugs, stop drinking, and they say to you its too hard, I can’t do it, they don’t have the money or time or better yet the white man want let me. They can advance on their job if they become proficient on the computer or if they take some additional classes and they have no hope or confidence. They are in despair without hope when God says ask and it shall be given, knock and the door will be opened and seek and ye shall find and he tells us to go and we say no!!!
Reason #2 – Look at the division (v.2), division means lack of harmony or disagreement. The grumbling unbelief of the people is emphasized: “all the people,” “all the Israelites, the whole assembly” every adult was grumbling in unbelief. Not a single person was trusting God, they didn’t believe God could lead them into the Promised Land. They were raising their voices, weeping, wailing, screaming, rending, throwing and cursing against Moses and Aaron (Rev. Brown, Rev. Jones). The people felt that death in Egypt or the desert would be better than attempting to enter the Promised Land. The children of Israel accused the Lord of bringing them up to a land to have them destroyed or enslaved by the enemies. The children of Israel even questioned if it were not better to return to Egypt, they even made a choice to choose a new leader. Let me give you that in 2006, the pastor not on the same page as the deacons causes division, the deacons asked to see about their members and they don’t causes a division, the pastor receives a vision to build some commit and some don’t causes a division, not following policies and procedures causes a division, not trusting God causes us to divide or separate from the will and the way of God. The husband wants this and the wife wants something else causes a division and before you know it divorce is eminent. We all know a house divided will soon fall. The children of Israel were saying we want to sell dinners we don’t want to tithe, we don’t want single’s ministry and couple’s ministry we want to do it the way we were doing it in Egypt. They would rather stay in Egypt and be oppressed than to trust God and move into the Promised Land. They were saying no, when God was saying go!