Book of Numbers 0003 - Lesson 2

Scripture Passage: 
Numbers 14:1-24

Chapter 14

The Unbelief of the Congregation

  1. THE REBELLION OF THE PEOPLE (Numbers 14:1-4)
    1. The Weeping of God’s People (Numbers 14:1)
    2. The Murmuring of God’s People (Numbers 14:2-3)
      1. We wish we could have died.
      2. Our families are in danger.
    3. The Plan of God’s People (Numbers 14:3-4)
      1. Make us a captain.
        1. The whole idea here is that we don’t have a captain and we must make us one.  This is idolatry.
        2. They would have certainly had a captain to lead them into the land as we find out later in the Book of Joshua (Joshua 5:14-15).
      2. Return to Egypt
        1. We have discussed in earlier lessons the marred memory of God’s people concerning Egypt.  Somehow they saw it as a place of plenty and desired to return.
        2. How many today experience a hard truth or trial in their Christian journey and turn their back to return to Egypt?
      3. Note:  The following is a quote from Notes on Numbers by C.H. Mackintosh.  “There are two melancholy phases of unbelief exhibited in Israel’s history in the wilderness:  the one at Horeb, the other at Kadesh.  At Horeb, they made a calf, and said, ‘These be thy gods, O Israel, that brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.’  At Kadesh, they proposed to make a captain to lead them back into Egypt…we need not marvel if those who thought that a calf had brought them out of Egypt should seek a captain to lead them back.”  (pages 247-248)
  2. THE PLEADING OF GOD’S MEN (Numbers 14:5-9)
    1. Moses and Aaron Plead with God (Numbers 14:5).
      1. It doesn’t say they prayed to God.
      2. They fell on their faces.
    2. Joshua and Caleb Plead with the People (Numbers 14:6-9).
      1. They were moved with passion – rent their clothes.
        1. The rending of the clothes was an outward demonstration of the inward turmoil of a man or woman.
        2. By rending their clothes they were showing that this was rending their heart and emotions to pieces.
        3. Oh, that men of God were this concerned about obedience to the truths of God today.
      2. They preached a message.
      3. They drove the Israelites to make a decision.
        1. They are bread for us.
          1. Note:  I remember a phrase we used in a competitive sense being “we are going to eat them for lunch.”
          2. That is the idea of this phrase.
        2. Their defense is departed.
        3. The Lord is with us.
  3. THE REJECTION OF GOD’S PEOPLE (Numbers 14:10)
    1. They Wanted to Stone God’s Men.
    2. The Glory of the Lord Appeared.
  4. THE ANGER OF THE LORD (Numbers 14:11-12)
    1. How Long
      1. Will they provoke me
      2. Will it be before they believe me for the signs
      3. Note:  This chapter gives several keys that plug into understanding dispensationalism.
        1. Signs and Israel
          1. Moses had signs to show in order to let the Israelites know that God had sent him (Exodus 4:1-9; Exodus 4:28-31).
          2. God constantly provided miracles along the way coming out of Egypt.
            1. Manna
            2. Parting the Red Sea
            3. The pillar of cloud and fire
            4. Water from the rock
          3. The sabbath was a sign between God and Israel (Exodus 31:17).
          4. The New Testament says the Jews require a sign (1 Corinthians 1:22).
        2. The purpose of the signs
          1. In Numbers 14:11, the signs were provided to help them believe the word that God spoke to them.
          2. This coincides with the purpose of the signs in the apostolic age in Mark 16:20.
        3. The rejection of the word with the signs
          1. The Israelites rejected the word of God by their disbelief even though the land was exactly what He told them it would be (Hebrews 3:19).
          2. He manifested His power to them throughout their journey to demonstrate that His word was true and that He would be able to perform it.
          3. Israel rejected the truth here even though they had signs.  This came into its fullest at the desire to stone Joshua and Caleb for their message.
          4. Israel again rejected Christ as the Messiah despite the signs and wonders performed by Him and the apostles to confirm the word.  This came into its fullest when the people stoned Stephen for preaching his message (Acts 7:55-60).  It is interesting to note that part of Stephen’s message was concerning the wilderness time (Acts 7:37-42).
        4. The turning of God to another people
          1. Upon the rejection of God’s word concerning the land, God turned to the children of the Israelites.  He even offered Moses to destroy them all and create a mightier nation out of him.
          2. Upon the rejection of Christ as their Messiah, God cut off the Israelites to bring in the Gentiles.  It was all based upon unbelief (Romans 11:20-23).
    2. I Will.
      1. Smite them with pestilence
      2. Disinherit them
      3. Make a greater nation of thee
  5. THE MEDIATORSHIP OF MOSES (Numbers 14:13-19; Psalm 106:23-26)
    1. He Pleads for God’s Reputation (Numbers 14:13-16).
      1. The nations will hear (Numbers 14:13-14).
        1. The Egyptians
        2. The inhabitants of the land
      2. They will question God’s power (Numbers 14:15-16).
    2. He Reminds God of His Own Name (Numbers 14:17-18).
      1. As God declared it (Numbers 14:17; Exodus 33:17-19; Exodus 34:5-8)
      2. As a God of mercy and forgiveness (Numbers 14:18)
    3. He Pleads According to God’s Mercy.
      1. The greatness of His mercy
      2. As He had done from Egypt until now
  6. THE JUDGMENT OF THE LORD (Numbers 14:20-24)
    1. The Pardon of the Lord (Numbers 14:20)
      1. According to the word of Moses
      2. According to God’s own character
    2. The Wages of Sin (Numbers 14:21-23)
      1. They have seen my miracles.
      2. They have tempted me ten times. (Below is a list provided by the Dake’s Reference Bible.)
        1. By murmuring at the Red Sea (Exodus 14:11-12)
        2. By murmuring at Marah for water (Exodus 15:23-26)
        3. By murmuring for flesh and bread (Exodus 16:1-18)
        4. By leaving the manna until morning (Exodus 16:19-22)
        5. By murmuring for water at Rephidim (Exodus 17:1-7)
        6. By making the golden calf and returning to idolatry (Exodus 32)
        7. By murmuring at Taberah (Numbers 11:1-3)
        8. By murmuring for flesh (Numbers 11)
        9. By unbelief in asking that spies be sent into the land of God’s promise (Deuteronomy 1:20-25)
        10. By rebellion at the evil report of the spies (Numbers 13:26-Numbers 14:10)
      3. The number ten in scripture seems to say that’s enough.
        1. Jacob complained that Laban had changed his wages ten times (Genesis 31:7, 41); now it is time to leave.
        2. Nehemiah, when rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, was threatened ten times (Nehemiah 4:12).
        3. Job accused his friends of reproaching him ten times (Job 19:3).
        4. Daniel and his friends were proven with pulse for ten days (Daniel 1:12-15) and they were found to be ten times better than the magicians of the realm (Daniel 1:20).
        5. The church of Smyrna will have tribulation ten days (Revelation 2:10).
      4. They will not see the land.
    3. The Reward for the Faithful (Numbers 14:24)
      1. Faithful Caleb
        1. My servant Caleb
        2. He had another spirit.
        3. Followed me fully
      2. His Reward
        1. Enter into the land
        2. His seed shall possess it.
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 21:25

The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.