Be Very Afraid
Numbers 14:36-45 :
The men, whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up an evil report against the land,
even those men who brought up an evil report of the land, died by the plague before Yahweh. But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh,
remained alive of those men who went to spy out the land.
Moses told these words to all the children of Israel, and the people mourned greatly. They rose up early in the morning, and went up to the top of the mountain,
saying, “Behold, we are here, and will go up to the place which Yahweh has promised: for we have sinned.”
Moses said, “Why now do you disobey the commandment of Yahweh, since it shall not prosper? Don’t go up, for Yahweh isn’t among you; that you not be struck down before your enemies.
For there the Amalekite and the Canaanite are before you, and you shall fall by the sword, because you turned back from following Yahweh, therefore Yahweh will not be with you.”
But they presumed to go up to the top of the mountain. Nevertheless, the ark of Yahweh’s covenant and Moses didn’t depart out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down,
and the Canaanites who lived in that mountain, and struck them and beat them down, even to Hormah.
Fear is almost always a bad thing, but fear itself is not bad. There is one thing that is to be feared and if we don't fear that, we can't even learn anything. That's
what the Bible tells us.
Proverbs 9:10 :
The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom.
The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
It is possible to not fear what we should and to fear what we shouldn't. That's what happened here. To make it even more strange, they were doing something that God had originally
told them they should do. They were actually doing a good thing. This is a fascinating example that Christians should pay close attention to. Just because the Bible says to do
something, doesn't mean that you should do it right now. The Bible actually teaches us that we should wait for the presence of God to lead us, even when doing a good thing.
Doing good things at the wrong time or place makes them bad things. Doing good things without the power of God leading you also makes them bad things. We should be afraid of
doing righteous things without the power of God with us.
Notice that God even provided these people with a warning from Moses. Even if they thought that it was good at first, they could have listened to Moses council and stopped. If
they would have listened to him, they would have been saved. The Bible also tells us when Israel asked for forgiveness, they were given mercy. Perhaps, had the people asked God
for His mercy, they would have been allowed to go into the land after all. Unfortunately, their hearts were far from humility and were more interested in proving themselves as
righteous. May God help us to take this to heart and seek His mercy, direction and power as we live our lives. May we follow Jesus, not our own hearts.