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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When God Slams the Door (The Lord Condemns the Israelites to Die in the Wilderness)

Today's Reading:
  • Numbers 14:1 - 15:16
  • Proverbs 11:4
Read Bible Passages Online

Numbers 14:1 - 15:16
Moses and the Israelites got near the land the Lord had promised to them.  Twelve scouts were sent ahead to scope the land for 40 days.  When they returned, 10 of the scouts spread fear throughout the people.  The other 2 scouts were Joshua and Caleb, and they did their best to assure the people that the land was attainable with the glory of God.

The people (once again) began to whine and complain.  They stayed up the entire night, crying about how they were going to die in battle; their wives and children carried off in plunder.   They once again cried that it would be better to die in Egypt.  In fact, it would be better to die in the wilderness.  (Wasn't their previous complaint how it would be better to die in Egypt than the wilderness?)

The Lord had finally had enough. (He sure is patient, isn't He?  I lost my patience with those people long ago!).  The Lord declared that He would destroy them all, but Moses begged the Lord otherwise.  The Lord listened to Moses and did not destroy the people, but he did condemn them to die in the desert.

The Lord told Moses that not a single person, aged 20 or older (with the exception of Caleb and Joshua ) would enter that land.  Each and every single one of those people would die in the wilderness, just as they had bemoaned the entire journey up to that point. 

The people, when they heard that, decided (once again) to rebel.  They said they had sinned, but were now ready to enter the land.  So they tried to do it themselves, but they failed without the Lord by their sides.  God had shut that door to them.

God is insanely patient to have put up with what He did up to that point.  But at some point, enough was enough.  The Lord was upset because He had sent sign after sign after sign to these people.  He had lived in their camp, led them, and guided them all along.  Yet the entire way they moaned and cried and threw fits. 

I really don't have anything else to say about this.  People are fickle, and for many, you can show them all the signs in the world, but they still won't believe.  I also learned today that sometimes God slams the door in your face and locks it for good.  I can't think of anything I've done that has caused God to slam a door in my face, but I can see it does happen.  Don't bemoan the Lord.  He is here for you always, even when you aren't there for Him. 

Proverbs 11:4
Riches won't help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death.
Here we are told that riches won't help us out when it's judgment time.  Note it doesn't say riches are evil -- I have yet to the bible say that -- but simply that it won't help you.

Right living can save you from death.   Obviously we are each condemned to die, it is a sure thing, save for a lucky few (when compared to the billions who have already died) who are still alive when Jesus returns.  So are we talking about eternal death?  Are we talking about early death?  Are we talking about both?

I have seen how sins -- especially adultery -- lead to the grave.  I've seen it occur both figuratively and literally in the bible.  It can spell the end of everything you have accomplished in life, in one fell swoop.  I have read other passages that talk about our sins as ropes that hold us captive.

In the end only our salvation in Jesus Christ can save us.  But walking the right path while we are here on earth will help us to avoid pain, keep us closer to the Lord, and ensure an easier time for us on judgement day.  I'd best make sure these feet of mine are walking in the right direction!

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