"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Friday, May 6, 2022


Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Numbers by pastor Chuck Smith

NUMBERS 14: “CONQUERORS & CRYBABIES” – by Sonny Islas, For the full message, watch it on the Facebook video or on SHINE BRIGHT Church YouTube channel!

INTRODUCTION: Let’s pick up where we left off last Wednesday in NUMBERS 13; this and NUMBERS 14 are one story line.

At this point in the narrative, we can categorize the people of Israel into two distinct groups – Conquerors and Crybabies or Believers and Unbelievers. Caleb and Joshua are among the courageous and faithful, the rest (except for Mose
s, Aaron, and few others) were among the cowardice and faithless.

And in every local Evangelical church today, you will find these two types of people. Those who take God at His Word and those who dismiss His Word, to their own eternal peril. Jesus puts it this way in Matthew 7:24-27 (and I paraphrase) Those who obey God’s Word are the wise ones who built their house on the rock and those who don’t obey God’s Word are the foolish ones who built their house on the sand. The Day of Judgment will reveal everyone’s foundation – made up of either solid rock or sinking sand.

NUMBERS 14:1-10
1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, "If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 "Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4 So they said to one another, "Let us select a leader and return to Egypt." 5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 "If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.' 9 "Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them." 10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel

Vs. 1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried (hence the title of tonight message: Conquerors And Crybabies)

Last Wednesday we read about how twelve spies (who were also leaders from every tribe) were sent to Canaan to bring back a report. Caleb and Joshua brought back a good report: “We can do this!” while the other ten leaders brought back an evil report: “No, we can’t!” The conquerors brought back a report of faith – in God – and the crybabies brought back a report of fear - towards man.

This evil report about the impossibility of overcoming giants and possessing the land, by the majority is what caused most of Israel to cry in utter despair and to outright rebel against God.
Caleb and Joshua, the conquerors “walked by faith and not by sight,” while the other ten spineless leaders, the crybabies, walked by sight and not by faith. While Caleb and Joshua focused on the goodness of the promised land, the crybabies focused on the giants in the land.

Vs. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron:

There are times when church going people complain about the pastor, who is just preaching the truth and calling God’s people to believe and obey God’s commands – like Moses. They complain about the pastor but deep down in their hearts, their problem is really with God and His Word. Complaining about the pastor is just a pretense to their real problem – they don’t want to part ways with their sin and, or their disobedience.

A pastor friend once told me that “if anyone leaves your church, they are firing you.’’ That may be true in some cases but, in most cases, they’re not firing me, they’re rejecting God – His Word!

I’ve talked with a handful of people who have left our fellowship and they’ve said something like “Don’t take it personal, you’re not the reason why we left, it’s because…” – then they give me some lame excuses.

Most of the time, they just don’t want God, but they won’t openly admit it – it’s too shameful. They just want to go back to Egypt – back to the world, plain and simple. Not all, but most, I’m sure (when people leave our fellowship, I pray and hope they find another fellowship/local church – and if they don’t – that says a lot about them).

The LORD knew that the people’s complaint about Moses was just a pretense, the real issue is found in verse 11 where God asks Moses “How long will this people REJECT ME?”
The same thing happens in 1 SAMUEL 8 (paraphrased here) where Israel asks for a King and Samuel takes it to God in prayer and God tells Samuel, “it’s not you that they are rejecting – it’s Me. And they’ve been rejecting Me since I took them out of Egypt. They forsake Me to serve false gods.”

Vs. 2 …if only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in the wilderness!

In NUMBERS 14:29, God gives them exactly what they wished for – death in the wilderness instead of rest in the promised land!

Vs. 3 Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword [killed in battle], that our wives and children should become victims?

These accusations are extremely slanderous of the LORD’s love, care, provision, and protection over them. They were accusing God of being a cold-blooded murderer. One who could care less about fragile women and children.

Imagine having to hear thousands of ungrateful crybabies saying these wretched things about the LORD?! God’s desire was to bless them with a prosperous land flowing with milk and honey, but now they will get a six-foot hole in the desert.

There are many professing Christians like this, who view God as cruel and trials as too difficult to endure for His glory. They are the LUKE 8:13, rocky ground sort of people, “…who believe for a while and in time of temptation [trial] fall away.”

The Israelites followed God until giants showed up and many professing Christians are the same way – they will follow God until trials show up – until it’s time to draw the line and retreat – and back to Egypt/the world they go. They say like the crybaby Israelites here,

3-4 …wouldn’t it be better to return to Egypt4 Let us select a leader [because apparently God didn’t do a good enough job by selecting Moses] and return to Egypt.”

The New Testament speaks of this type of “Christian” in:

2 TIMOTHY 4:3,4
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up
(gather/select) for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth (in Israel’s case, away from the promised land), and be turned aside to fables (in Israel’s case, to Egypt).”

They wanted a new leader – one that will cave into their cries and carnal cravings. Not one who would lead them into battle (as with the Hebrews in Canaan) but one that will lead them into bondage (Egypt). All false teachers either keep people in bondage or lead people into bondage. They’re unable to get people to a place of true victory over the slavery of sin through solid and sound teachings that produce sanctification and Christlikeness.
Listen if you will 
to what the Bible says about those who want to “return to Egypt” –

HEBREWS 10:37-39 
“For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition [
eternal damnation], but of those who believe in the saving of the soul.”

So the multitudes in the wilderness here who turned back in their hearts did not just die in the desert and missed out on the promised land, they were damned to hell. “Perdition” points to eternal ruin. Those who turn back from Christ, trade heaven for hell!

The ultimate sign of a true believer is that they endure to the end – in the LORD’s strength. They persevere through it all. “But we ARE NOT of those who draw back…”
In verse 5 and 6 Moses and Aaron talk to God while Joshua and Caleb talk to the people in order to try and knock some sense into them.

They say to the people, 
The land is exceedingly good…the LORD will bring us into the land and give it to us…Only don’t rebel against the LORD nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread…Their protection has departed from them…The LORD is with us, do not fear them.’’
These are the words of faith filled men – men who know God, those that are more than conquerors through Yahweh who gives them strength and lion-like boldness in the face of battle!

Vs. 10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones
This is not funny, but I find it a bit humorous because Joshua and Caleb were just calling them to trust in God – that’s all! And they want to shut them up with stones!
This is the heart of the wicked: they hate to be challenged; and people with great faith in God and who take God seriously, annoy them.

Listen to what David Guzik says of this verse:
Nothing can be more vexing, more aggravating to the child of God in rebellion than another child of God who is full of faith and submission to God – and who has godly counsel.
Godly people will always be hated or disliked to some degree, both by the world and by immature believers. Remember, Stephan was stoned to death by his fellow Jews, and Christ was crucified by His creation! So don’t expect a cheerleading squad to cheer you on when you grow in Christlikeness and trust in God through it all.

Vs. 10 Now the glory of the LORD appeared in the Tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel

God shows up to defend and protect Joshua and Caleb and to pronounce judgment on the crybabies. On the rebels, rejectors, complainers, unbelievers, and stone throwers. This shows us that God will defend His own – if He so chooses and no one can object (successfully)!

NUMBERS 14:11-25
11 Then the LORD said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? 12 "I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they." 13 And Moses said to the LORD: "Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, 14 "and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, LORD, are among these people; that You, LORD, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 "Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying,

16 'Because the LORD was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.' 17 "And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, 18 'The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.' 19 "Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now." 20 Then the LORD said: "I have pardoned, according to your word;

21 "but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. 22 "because all these men who have 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, and have not heeded My voice, 23 "they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. 24 "But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it

Vs. 12 I will strike them with pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they:

This over-the-top offer from God to Moses has always puzzled Bible scholars. But God was not bluffing – He was fed up with the nation of Israel. If Moses would have taken up the offer – God would have done something far greater with him than with them and then the land of Israel may have been called the land of Moses or the Nation of Moses (had he taken the offer).

But again, Moses’ refusal reaffirms Moses’ humility and how he was far more concerned with what the nations would think about God for His sake than his own fame and power. Moses’ basically said, “the surrounding nations won’t understand Your just judgment on these people, they will accuse You of being cruel and powerless to perform Your promise. Show them mercy instead!” And God answered Moses’ prayer! Now this is intense intercessory prayer.

In vs. 22 we see that God keeps count, a record of how many times they tested Him, or better yet, disrespected Him.
In vs. 24 God commends Caleb for his bravery and loyalty. God commends the man the camp wanted to kill:

Vs.24 But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.

Listen, only those with a different spirit (not just a good attitude) but those who have the Holy Spirit, will follow God fully and will eventually end up in glory – in heaven, in eternal rest and bliss.

NUMBERS 14:26-38
26 And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 27 "How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. 28 "Say to them, 'As I live,' says the LORD, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: 29 'The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 30 'Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. 31 'But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. 32 'But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness.

33 'And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. 34 'According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection. 35 'I the LORD have spoken this; I will surely do so to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.'" 36  Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, 37 those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the LORD. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive, of the men who went to spy out the land.

Here God pronounces judgment on the crybabies and complainers. All who are 20 years old and up will die in the desert.

And they will all have to remain in the wilderness for 40 years in connection to the 40 days that the spies spent spying out the land of Canaan in order for them “to know God’s rejection.” (vs. 34) They rejected Him, now He will reject them for 40 years – until they die.
And the ten leaders/spies who brought an evil report, God killed with a painful plague.

NUMBERS 14:39-45
39 Then Moses told these words to all the children of Israel, and the people mourned greatly. 40 And they rose early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, "Here we are, and we will go up to the place which the LORD has promised, for we have sinned!" 41 And Moses said, "Now why do you transgress the command of the LORD? For this will not succeed. 42 "Do not go up, lest you be defeated by your enemies, for the LORD is not among you. 43 "For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword; because you have turned away from the LORD, the LORD will not be with you." 44 But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop; nevertheless, neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses departed from the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah

The people thought that they could change God’s mind and final verdict (their death penalty) by going to Canaan, but this was only going to make matters worse because God didn’t want them to go now. It was too late. And listen, there are many who reject the free gift of salvation, time and time again, and one day it will be too late.

The LORD was no longer with them in battle – it was too late.
Listen, if the LORD wants you to obey him now – do it – don’t wait another minute.

Pray that we would be found in the category of conquers and not crybabies. Of the faithful and not the faithless.

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