Wilderness Christians: RESPONSES TO DISCOURAGING REPORTS IN THE WILDERNESS (Part 3)
God’s Decision – Part 1
Numbers 14:11-20 – “And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? And how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shown among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they. And Moses said unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians will hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in Thy might from among them;) and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou Lord art among His people, that thou Lord art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which He sware unto them, therefore He hath slain them in the wilderness.
“And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word”.
God is always swift and timely to execute judgment; however, His mercy and grace far outweigh His wrath because His wrath has been placed on His Son. God is now satisfied with the propitiation death of His Son. John 19:30 – “It is finished”. How often through the intercession of another believer(s) does God outpour His grace? This is very evident from Moses effectively interceding for the children of Israel. Moses was an excellent and consistent intercessor, very effective. It is noticeable that Moses always knew what to say and when to say it. Recall that Moses spoke with God face to face, as a man speaks to a friend. He was one God knew by name. What a privilege!
If you are this type of intimate friend with God, you absolutely know that when you speak or intercede with a pure heart, God truly listens. He always listens to a pure heart of love. This is exactly what God did with Moses. And did God ever move in. Even with all the flaws of Moses, especially of not taking the spiritual initiative to rebuke the ten spies and enter Canaan, God is always faithful. Moses definitely was a man after God’s own heart.
What an outstanding example of an intercessor! Brethren, study carefully the heart of Moses regarding intercessory prayer. He truly cared for the children of Israel. He truly loved the Lord. Despite his shortcomings, as we all have, Moses did take the initiative to touch the heart of God. Only someone with a deep, intimate love relationship with God can touch His heart. Marvelous!
Regarding intercessory prayer, I am so proud of Moses. I pray the Lord give me a heart like Moses when it comes to intercessory prayer – a heart to truly carry other’s burdens. God strongly desires intercessors – ones only after His own heart. Just look at Moses’ accurate facts mentioned above that he used in his intercessory prayer. Do you sense the deep love and concern coming from his heart? I do. This is the heart of an intercessor. This is the heart of God. God heard his heart clearly and pardoned the iniquity planned against the children of Israel (verse 20). He pardoned according to the word of Moses. Absolutely moving – so superb!
What a magnificent God to raise up weak people like Moses! This is what God did for us. We see the Lord always faithful in every moment of every day for His people. He loves them so dearly. He loves them so much. In quietness and solitude, just absorb this love with me.
Remember, however, life at this time is still in the wilderness. We must never forget this. God’s love and presence were clearly seen; however, He never intended for them to reside there. They chose the wilderness themselves. According to the plan of God, they were to enter Canaan immediately by total faith in, total trust in, and total dependence on God. They needed to apply it to a decision so God can prove His faithfulness. Yet, they refused to believe.
Remember this also in your own daily walk with Christ. If you live in the wilderness, you may experience explosive signs of God’s love and presence. However, reality is you still reside in the wilderness. Focus your mind to enter Canaan.
Because you live in the wilderness, you still breed sin. You are exposed and very susceptible to snakes, scorpions, and drought. Your flesh will grow due to this exposure. Remember, God will never share flesh in His life – your flesh. “No flesh shall glory in His presence”. God deals, and that very swiftly, to dethrone your flesh. He will bury it and you in your wilderness – as long as you continue to live in it. Read on to Part 2 (when I post it) to see what God said He would do to the carcases of the Israelites in the wilderness.