Summary: This message explores Numbers chapter 14 & examines how our attitude toward God & others can have a direct impact on the victory we experience. Additionally, the message emphasizes trust in God's sovereignty & being obedient to God's will in our live.
Scripture: Numbers 14
1. The Protest and Rebellion vs. 1-12
Now when the children of Israel see the giants keeping them from the land they start to complain.
God’s plan for our lives often takes us through the most difficult paths in order to grow us spiritually.
Bu there is the risk to become negative and negativity is contagious. It started with just 10 people being negative and then it spread to all of the people of Israel.
That is why we have to be careful of negativity in the church, in our homes, and even in our workplaces.
But what does God say about criticism and negativity?
First we have to understand what criticism and negativity are.
Now God allows us to go through very difficult times and extreme trials to grow us spiritually.
Look at were 9.
“Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” (Numbers 14:9).
So when we complain as the children of Israel did, when we spread negativity we are actually rebelling against God.
“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” (1 Samuel 15:23).
God relates rebellion, a critical spirit, and arrogance to idolatry and witchcraft.
Why? Because if you fear or are more worried about a situation or circumstance than you trust that God is in control then it has become your God.
The witchcraft comes in because the negativity is a like a spell that enchants people to go against God.
Remember when you are going through a hard time, or there is something going on you don't like, or a leader you disagree with, know that God is using it to grow you. God is still in control, are you trusting Him?
That doesn't mean that you cannot address issues that you have concerns with.
However, we must go about it Scripturally and here is a correct way to address concerns if you have them with someone Biblically.
Matthew 18 tells us that you go to them one on one, then take two or three with you, and then if the situation is not resolved bring it before the full body of the church.
That means you don't gossip to others, be critical of them, or spread negativity, instead you go directly to that person and share your concerns with them.
2. The Petition and Repentance vs. 13-19
Now even though the people have rebelled against him Moses still prays and makes intercession on behalf of the people.
This demonstrates the divine characteristics not of Moses but of God.
Living a life that looks clean and good is great, but you will make the most impact when you show kindness and love to someone.
Intercession is a powerful weapon in the toolbox of the Christian.
Remember Abraham making intercession.
In Genesis 18 Abraham started with asking God that if there was 50 righteous people in the city if God would spare it. When God agreed Abraham lowered the number to 45, then 40, then 30, then 20, and finally 10.
I pray that ten righteous might be found in America and we be sparred.
I believe that the intercession of the saints is what is keeping God from judging us now.
3. The Pardon and Redemption vs. 20-38
Make no mistake God will not be mocked or rebelled against.
It is worth noting that the Israelites did not murmur at any of the laws or ordinances that God gave them, instead they murmured at the leadership they were under and the provision made for them.
It is always easier to bring ourselves to the external services of religion and observe all the rules than to live a life of dependent upon and submitted unto God's sovereignty .
Now these people had already seen God do all kinds of miracles but they still did not believe.
This is where God promises punishment, not to be vengeful, or even out of hatred, but it was to bring them to repentance.
But make no mistake their are consequences for our actions.
In verse 34 God tells them they are going to wonder 1 year for every day they searched the land. That is why the Israelites wondered for 40 years.
Now God here is bringing the punishment and plagues to force the younger Israelite into repentance.
Look again in verse 37 and you will notice that all those people that brought evil reports of the land died.
However, Joshua and Caleb were protected.
When others around you are negative and critical, stay positive, know that God is in control, love those around you and be positive, and God will ultimately reward you.