The Rebellious Heart

And the children of Israel murmered against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!  And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?  And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.

Numbers 14:2-4

Obviously, the Israelites are in the wrong here.  They believed the doubts and fears that the ten spies came back with and they refused to trust God and go into the Promised Land.  God brought them out of Egypt for a reason and it wasn’t to let them die in the wilderness.  He brought them out to bring them into the land that He promised.  But they didn’t have the faith to take it.

Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.  And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes…  If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.  Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.

Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb tried to persuade the people to follow the Lord and take the land that He was trying to give them. They were pleading with the people, trying to get them to understand that it was the Lord who would bring them into the land and it was the Lord that would give it to them.   They asked only that the people not fear the inhabitants of the land and that they follow the Lord.  These leaders only wanted what was best for the people.

But all the congregation bade stone them with stones.

Numbers 14:10b

After all Moses and Aaron had done for Israel, they wanted to kill them.  After the encouragement that Joshua and Caleb had given them to follow the Lord, they wanted to stone them!  But that is the way the backslidden, rebellious heart works.  The rebellious heart doesn’t want to hear about what God wants to do with them.  The rebellious heart hates the very people who are the most interested in helping them.  The rebellious heart just wants to “go back to Egypt”.  The rebellious heart is not interested in entering into the Promised Land and living the victorious Christian life. 

The question is this: into which group do we fall?  Are we among the Moses’ and Joshua’s who want to follow the Lord into battle, trusting Him to give the victory?  Or are we in the camp with the Israelites, who just want to go back to Egypt?

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