Verdana – (I’m signing in from the state I’ll soon call home. Property has been changing hands and things have been falling in line for the process to go smoothly. After spending ten years in the north, living once again in the south will require quite an adjustment. I can’t think of much to say, but I’m going to paraphrase the sermon my pastor gave yesterday because its so applicable.)
Numbers 14:26-35, “26 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: 27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say: 29 In this desert your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 32 But you—your bodies will fall in this desert. 33 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert. 34 For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ 35 I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this desert; here they will die.””
The backstory is this: God has delivered the Israelites from slavery and taken them to the border of the promised land. Spies from every tribe were sent out and only two came back with a good report. The others stirred up the people with their bad report saying that it was not possible to take possession or live in the land. Moses intervened on behalf of the people before God.
My pastor pointed out that although the parental generation were ultimately responsible for their own fate (death), it was because of them their children wandered in the desert forty years as sheperds. They too, paid a price. We need to raise up our children and be responsible for ourselves so that both ourselves and our descendants have the blessings of God.
Joshua 14:6-15, “6 Now the men of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.’
10 “Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”
13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the LORD, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.)
Then the land had rest from war.”
Caleb and Joshua, the two spies who gave a good report about the land were the only two of the older generation to survive the fourty year trek into the wilderness and to enter the promised land. This is Caleb’s testimony. There is an example in how he served the Lord that we should be. Not only did he follow God whole-heartedly, but he was also vigorous to do the Lord’s work of taking possession of the land. In the same way we should serve God whole-heartedly, but be vigorous to do the Lord’s work, and believe me, there is alot that we haven’t been doing.
(My pastor has also been teaching about an aspect of social responsibility that I want to mention here. You see, there are 22 Million daughters all over the world that are sexual slaves. Some are my age, some older than me, and some are younger. These girls are not only forced into prostitution, but their clients give them diseases, they are starved, and/or they die. They are locked in a situation that many Americans have been ignoring because it’s not happening as much on this half of the world. It’s not too different from the movie Taken, but it doesn’t have such a happy ending. If you feel stirred up to action, you can pray, support ministries that are focused on freeing these girls, and maybe you get your churches to care that 22 Million teenage girls and young adult women are locked in a room continually/daily being raped and molested.)