Notes: April 16, 2008 – Numbers 14

Bible study notes in English for use by Trinity International Baptist Church in Athens, Greece.

God’s kingdom is not a democracy

I. The people want to go back to Egypt (1-4).

II. Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb unsuccessfully attempt to dissuade the people (5-10).

III. When the Lord suggests that the people should be destroyed, Moses intercedes (11-19).

IV. The Lord answers Moses’ request; and, instead of destroying the nation, plans to destroy only the present generation of unbelievers (20-38).

IV. Upon hearing this announcement, the people, as one would expect, were sad; but worse, they attempted to go into the land on their own strength and without God (39-45).

Meditation Points:

  • The discouraging reports of 10 men moved a whole nation to turn their backs on God. Sometimes we are moved by even fewer voices.
  • To replace Moses, the man of God’s choosing, the people proposed to select  their own leader. This penchant to think that we know better than God who should lead us continues today into all too many churches that select pastors without considering God’s Biblically-stated qualifications which can readily be found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. (For some modern comments on these qualifications, read Comments on Titus.)
  • Instead of heeding the sage counsel of Moses and Aaron, the people would stone them. “Kill the messenger!”
  • What would you have done with these people? (Matthew 21:33-41)
  • Would you have prayed for them?
  • Moses argued that the honor of God would be destroyed before the heathen if He were to wipe out the nation of Israel (Numbers 14:13-16). Do you ever pray for things that would glorify God, or do you only pray for things that please and glorify yourself or your family?
  • Moses argued that God’s character would allow Him to pardon the people (Numbers 14:18-19). Praise God that His character IS such!
  • God’s glory is seen in the pardoning of the nation AND in the destruction of the unbelievers therein (Numbers 14:21-23).
  • The unbelief of the fathers had an adverse affect upon their families (33). This principle has not changed.
  • The 10 men responsible for leading the congregation into rebellion against God died (36-36).
  • Do you ever attempt to get God’s blessings without God’s presence (40-41)?
  • All sin is evil; but how much more evil are sins of presumption (44)? Psalm 19:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
  • 40 years of hardship, ending with death outside the land of promise. Could any punishment be worse? Many people have brought such consequences upon themselves because of their unbelief and rebellion against God.