February 11, 2011
“These are the ones counted by Moses and Eleazar the priest when they counted the Israelites on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho. Not one of them was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the priest when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai. For the LORD had told those Israelites they would surely die in the desert, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.”
Many of us already know that out of the original group that came out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses, only Joshua and Caleb actually made it to the Promise Land. Only two out of thousands of people made it! I don’t know exactly the percentage that we are looking at here, but I know that it’s less than one. Joshua and Caleb, in my opinion, are two of the most extraordinary people of faith in the Bible; they kept the faith against all odds.
Joshua and Caleb kept the faith as slavery intensified in Egypt right after the intervention of Moses; as Moses spoke the words to Pharaoh on behalf of the Lord: “Let my people go,” and as Pharaoh, in response, doubled the work. Joshua and Caleb kept the faith through the long nights in the desert, through hardship, through hunger and thirst, as everybody else complained; as death surrounded the Israelite camp and as they saw the size of the giants and the natural challenges of conquering the land.
What are our challenges today? What kills the faith in us? Does it take much or very little for us to complain? In whatever situation you are facing today, the question remains the same: Would you keep the faith?
February 10, 2011
“4 The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, ‘This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.’ So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, 5 sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River, in his native land. Balak said: ‘A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. 6 Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.” (Numbers 22:4-6)
So many times we worry so much about what people have to say about us. For many of us, the idea of people spreading negative rumors about us is intolerable. By now, the children of Israel have shown their good, their bad and plenty of their ugly. They have spoken against Moses, against his brother Aaron and have manifested a display of lack of truth in God. At one point, God was getting ready to eliminate them as a nation all together, but Moses’ effective intersession kept them alive as a nation. Moses found himself totally tired in the burden of leading this nation. Even as the people that were directly involved in sin paid the price for it; God still showed his love and mercy for this nation as a whole.
In these verses, we see Moab trying to get Balaam to curse God’s people. However, God did not allow for such a curse to be spoken against His people. You may be one that messed up real bad; God surely is dealing with you without a doubt; however, you must also understand that you are blessed. Your blessing can’t be taken away from you by anyone. When you are blessed; you are blessed!