Disastrous Disbelief


Moving Past Bad Decisions

Key Bible Verse: “They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice. (Numbers 14:22)

Dig Deeper: Numbers 13-14

After the nation of Israel escaped from Egypt, they travelled across the wilderness to the brink of the Promised Land. For two full years, they had been told this new land was abundantly fruitful and could sustain livestock. Over and over, they hear the land described as “flowing with milk and honey.” And now they were about to enter and take possession of it. Everyone – all two million people, young and old – was looking forward to leaving the desert behind in exchange for this prosperous new real estate that God had promised.

Then they made a tragic decision. When the 12 spies who had been sent to scout the land returned, only 2 of them, Joshua and Caleb, brought an optimistic report. The other 10 gave into their fears and counselled safety and immediate security. They said, “We can’t attack those people ; they are stronger than we are” (Num. 13:31, NIV). Even though Joshua and Caleb tried to persuade the people that God would give them the victory, the congregation voted with the majority of spies.

The consequences of Israel’s unbelief weren’t pretty. They paid an ongoing price for turning away from their God-given opportunity. In fact, they would wander in the wilderness for 38 more years.

– Erwin Lutzer in Making the Best of a Bad Decision

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