“All that the LORD has spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8; see also Exodus 24:3, Exodus 24:7). Though, no doubt, the people had meant those words each time they said them, sacred history shows that, unfortunately, their actions time and again contradicted their words. Though they were the chosen people, though they had entered freely into the covenant with the Lord, they didn’t keep up their end of the deal, which really came down to one thing.
What was the crucial component for Israel in regard to the covenant? ( Exodus 19.4-5).
The call to obey God, to keep His law, was no more legalism then than it is now (see Matthew 7:24-27; John 14:15; James 2:20; Romans 6.11-12), and yet, over and over the children of Israel failed to keep up their end of the deal.
Indeed, early on, even in the very sight of Mount Sinai itself, they fell into rank apostasy (see Exodus 32:1-6). Unfortunately, unfaithfulness seemed to be more the norm than the exception, and thus, instead of quickly entering into the Promised Land, they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.
Read Numbers 14:28-35. What was the punishment meted out to the nation because of their refusal to trust what the Lord had told them to do?
Then, as now, so often disobedience comes, not just from outright rebellion (though that does happen) but from a failure to trust in what God tells us. What made this sin even more heinous for Israel was the fact that, as God Himself said, all these men had “seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times” (Numbers 14:22). Despite all that they had seen and experienced, they still refused to obey the Lord and to take the land, despite God’s promises that they would succeed (Numbers 13-Numbers 14).
|Think about what was said above: that so often disobedience comes from a lack of trusting in God’s Word to us. Why is this true, and how can we, indeed, learn to trust in God more?|