Today we begin Numbers Chapter 14.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James version, click here.
“At this all the people of Israel cried out in dismay and wept all night long. Moreover, all the people of Israel began grumbling against Moshe and Aharon; the whole community told them, ‘We wish we had died in the land of Egypt! or that we had died here in the desert! Why is Adonai bringing us to this land, where we will die by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be taken as booty! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “Let’s appoint a leader and return to Egypt!'”-Numbers 14:1-4
You know what I really love about the Bible?
I love how truthful and uncensored it is when it comes portraying the good, the bad and the ugly of the human race.
And here in Numbers Chapter 14, oh boy do we get a good heaping dose of the ugliness of the human race as represented by the Israelites wandering in the desert.
The opening verses of this chapter say it all.
As the Israelites are standing at the brink, at the very cusp, of achieving the momentous promise to take the Promised Land, they lose all faith and break down into a big time panic attack at the seemingly insurmountable circumstances standing in their way.
Have you ever been excited at the start of a new project where at the beginning you were so excited and filled to the brim with enthusiasm at how much your life would be changed in a positive way if you succeeded?
I’m sure we’ve all been there.
We attend some motivational seminar, read some inspiring self-help book or make plans to start up some grand entrepreneurial venture and in the beginning we feel fearless and like we’re going to conquer the world.
And then reality kicks in.
We realize it’s not exactly going to be a walk in the park to get from Point A to Point B.
We understand we’re going to have to make some uncomfortable sacrifices and that there may be some serious danger involved.
Once that happens, all of a sudden our attitude completely changes and we instantly transform from fearless warriors into a bunch of crippled cockroaches.
This is exactly what happened with the Israelites.
Let’s take a good look at the barrage of negativity that came flying out of their mouths because it reflects an aspect of the human condition resident in all of us.
“We wish we had died in the land of Egypt! or that we had died here in the desert! Why is Adonai bringing us to this land, where we will die by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be taken as booty! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?”
What are they really saying here?
What’s really going on inside their minds and hearts?
Here’s the thing.
Many times we will prefer to stay immersed in our worldly and sinful ways simply because it’s a lifestyle we’re just more comfortable with.
And the truth be told, there do seem to be some benefits and perks to the way we’ve always done things even if deep down inside we really want to change.
That’s why its so hard for an alcoholic or a sex addict to change his or her ways.
This is also the reason why people stay at jobs they hate or remain in abusive relationships.
The comfort that comes from familiarity has literally taken over their minds and souls.
I get it though.
Change can be tough and really scary.
Yet that is what God is calling us to once we’re born again.
He’s calling us to the Promised Land.
We human beings can really be funny creatures.
Look at what the Israelites said.
“Let’s appoint a DIFFERENT leader and go back to Egypt!”
Holy Texas Twitter Tweets!!!!
The Israelites are literally saying, “Let’s go back to the pain and anguish of being slaves in Egypt“.
That’s how painful change can be.
Change involves a complete turnaround of our daily thought patterns and then ACTION.
But that is what being born again is really all about.
It’s not walking down the aisle, muttering some “salvation prayer” and then going right back to living like we’ve always lived.
One final point before I close.
The panic of the people had reached the point where they were crying out for a different leader.
Here’s a little warning for the wise.
You cannot be against God’s Chosen Mediator and at the same time be for God.
That’s like saying I’m going to eat a Kosher bacon cheeseburger.
The logic just doesn’t fly.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“But whoever disowns me before others,
I will disown before my Father in heaven.”