How Could They Forget?
Text: Numbers 13:25-14:11
Tomorrow, we will celebrate Memorial Day. It is a day for us to remember all of the men who gave their lives so that we could enjoy the freedom we have today. I love my service men. They are heroes.
“In the Revolutionary War 33,000 soldiers died; in the War of 1812 7,000 soldiers died; in the Mexican War 13,000 perished; during the Civil War 980,000 men died; in the Spanish-American War 4,000 died; in World War I 320,000 U.S. soldiers gave their lives; in World War II 1,078,000 died; in the Korean War 157,000 soldiers perished; during the Vietnam War 111,000 of our men died; in the Gulf War there were 700; and in the War in Iraq there have been nearly 2000 deaths. A total of these figures reveal that there have been an estimated 2,705,900 U.S. soldiers who have died over the past two centuries fighting for our country’s freedom, and this is the reason that they died – for “our” freedom.” We certainly don’t want to forget those who served our country and did not die. As General George Patton said, “The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other guy die for his.” So, to our service men, we say, “Thank you!”
You see, tomorrow, is set aside for us to remember; but what if we forget. We erect memorials to remind ourselves and our children of the price that was paid for our freedom. I went to the Vietnam War Memorial with a man whose uncle’s name was on that wall.
But what if we forget? Impossible? No, “in a speech on December 14, 2005, Iranian President Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust “a myth.”” No, the children of Israel forgot all the miracles that God had done for them. In fact, the same day as the Children of Israel would display this gross act of faithlessness, they had eaten bread given them by God’s own hand.
How could they forget? How could they not believe? Didn’t they have the best opportunity of any generation to see God manifest His power? Let’s look at what happened.
I. Canaan’s Hindrances (Num. 13:25-29; 31-33)
A. The People were Strong. They were warriors, had chariots, and large armies. We are not veteran soldiers. We don’t have the experience they have. We don’t have the weapons they have. We don’t have numbers they have. We can’t conquer the land.
B. The Cities were Walled. This is going to be no easy task. We don’t have battering rams and siege equipment. And what if they attack us? We don’t have any walls to hide behind. What about our wives and children? How can we keep them safe?
II. The Congregation’s Hullabaloo (Num. 14:1-4; 10)
A. Wished we’d died in Egypt.
B. Wished we’d died in the Wilderness.
C. Let’s make a captain and go back to Egypt.
III. Caleb’s Hope (Num. 13:30; 14:5-9;11)
A. God was able to give them victory. He spoke as if the conquering was already done. “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” The enemy was a minor bump in the road. Yes, the people are strong, but are they as strong as God? Yes, the cities are walled, but are they walled all they way to heaven? Yes, there are giants in the land, but are they bigger than God? No, no, and no! Why did Caleb believe this?
B. God had performed miracles before. Just this morning, the people had eaten bread from heaven.
This Memorial Day, let us remember those who have served our country, those who are currently serving, and the God Who holds all power.