Summary: What caused the Israelites to depart from the land of blessing and wander in the wilderness of regrets?

Title: The Wilderness of Regret

Text: Numbers 13:25-33; 14: 1-4;26-38


The Israelites during the time of Moses was living in a privilege time and hour. After being enslaved by the Egyptian God was about to use Israel in a mighty manner.

1. Their coming out of Egypt was the fulfilment of God’s prophesy to Abraham in Gen 15:13-14.

2. They were called and chosen to be God’s agents inflicting judgement on the wicked inhabitants of Canaan.

3. They were given the promise land as an inheritance as they execute God’s plan.

4. They were promised empowerment and protection as they obeyed God’s call.

The story of Israel has often puzzled my heart. God wanted to bring Israel to a place of blessing, where they can fulfill their call and destiny. Yet they refused to partner with God and rebelled against Moses.

Was their memory so short? It was not too long ago that they saw God’s power in motion and now they want to turn back to the land of bondage and affliction.

It was a story of so near yet so far. They were so near to the promise land, and all they need was to make the all-important decision to step in. A moment of folly caused them to make a wrong decision. It was s decision that caused them their blessings, calling, and inheritance. Instead of an eleven-day journey into the promise land, for the next 40 years they wandered in the wilderness of regrets.

This morning I have entitled my message as: The Wilderness of Regrets

Paul told the Corinthian church in 1Cor 10:11 that the story of the Moses Generation was written as a warning to us

What caused the Israelites to depart from the land of blessing and wander in the wilderness of regrets?

There are three reasons:

1. They listened to an Evil Report.

12 spies who were leaders represent each tribe went into the promise land. They saw a good fertile land flowing with milk and honey. It was God’s vision for them.

10 of them came back and they told the people, the land is indeed good, but ….

Christian without faith always have a “but” insert into the middle of a sentence.

I remembered in an earlier church, which I was in. I was in the church board and in one particular meeting we were discussing about some projects, which require money. One board member said, “The spirit is willing, but the pocket is weak.”

The ten leaders of their respective tribes gave a report of

a. Unbelief and fear.

They saw the giants of the land, they heard the whispers of unbelief and fear and instantly their hearts melted.

b. Selfishness.

They started to think to themselves if the Israelites indeed enter into Canaan land it means, they might have to sacrifice their lives in warfare. They will lose their comforts. As these thoughts race across their minds, they decided that they would incite a rebellion against God.

Why did one whole generation wandered in the wilderness of regrets? It was because their leaders were not men of faith. They were not people who were self-sacrificial.

God’s leaders must be able to envision the vision God gives to his people and move into it. Their own comfort and security must not be placed above God’s plans and purpose.

- What I shared with the Leaders regarding sacrificing the first seeds.

The fault of the Israelites lies on the fact that they chose to listen to an evil report. They refused to hear the voice of the godly leaders. This led to their respond of rebellion.

2. They responded in Rebellion.

Rebellion is the act of insubordination to the commands of God. It is and act of refusal.

They wailed the whole night. They wanted to turn back to Egypt. They wanted to choose their own leaders. They refuse to obey the call of God in their lives.


a. They view their comforts as more important than God’s call.

b. Their hearts were filled with unbelief in spite of what God had said and done in their midst.

c. They do not wish to move out of their comfort zone.

d. They looked at their own abilities but not the ability of God.

Have you responded in rebellion towards what God has called you to do?

- Have you been disobeying God in terms of your calling?

- Have you been disobeying God in terms of your giving?

- Have you been disobeying God in terms of your lifestyle?

Have you responded in rebellion towards what God has called us to do as a community?

The vision to enter into Canaan is a vision of God for the community. God has given us a vision of building a house for Him. Are you prepared to partner God in this vision?

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