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Bible Pathways 02/19/2002

February 19

Read Numbers 14 -- 15

In Today's Reading:

The pivotal point of the book is revealed by the Israelites who were delivered from slavery, crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, supplied food and water, and guided by the Lord through the desert; and yet they were unwilling to rely upon the Word of God. Why? Many today are making the same mistake. Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-2.

Verse for Today:

All the whole congregation (of Israelites). . . . murmured against Moses . . . and . . . said . . . Would God that we had died in . . . Egypt! . . . Why has the Lord brought us to this land, to fall by the sword? . . . Let us return to Egypt (Numbers 14:2-4).


The reaction of the people to the problems of entering the Promised Land; Moses interceded in prayer for the Israelites but the people's hearts remained unchanged; Israel's wasted life; laws concerning offerings, sins, and the Sabbath.

It seems strange indeed that the people who had been miraculously deliv ered from Egyptian slavery and experienced the miraculous guidance of God would say: Let us return to Egypt (Numbers 14:4). They had refused to listen to Caleb, who said: Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome them. But the men who went up with him said . . . they are stronger than we (13:30-31).

After God pronounced judgment upon them because they refused to believe His promise, the Israelites did not realize that they had waited too long when they said: We . . . will go up to the place which the Lord has promised: for we have sinned (14:40). But their opportunity to enter the Promised Land had passed.

Little did they realize how their tenth failure to take God at His Word marked their transition from pilgrims, being led by the Lord, to wanderers in the desert for the next 38 years.

Perhaps they assumed that entering the Promised Land would be as easy as their Exodus from Egypt; but, like the seed sown on shallow ground in Jesus' parable: When tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, by and by he is offended (Matthew 13:18-23). Like the two million Israelites who left Egypt to follow Moses to the Promised Land, multitudes have made a similar decision to follow Jesus and expect Heaven to be their destination. But, as they faced disappointment, opposition, or attractive worldly opportunities, they too are wasting their lives on meaningless, time-consuming things that are of no eternal consequence. All of us need to reevaluate our opportunities to serve Christ. Think about how many "good things" occupy our time and demand our money that we could be using for the Lord.

A Christianity that promises an easy life with no obligation to know God's Word is not the Gospel of Jesus. If you continue in My word, then you are My disciples indeed (John 8:31).

Far too many are just as determined as the Israelites to decide what is best for them. Others make up their minds to wait for a more convenient time. Consequently both miss the blessings they could enjoy if they allowed the Lord to direct their lives.

It is of utmost importance that we allow Christ to be first in our hearts, for Jesus desires that you truely have the best in life saying: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

A Thought from Proverbs: The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaks frowardness (10:32).

Christ Revealed:

As God's glory (Numbers 14:22). Jesus Christ is the radiance of God's glory (Hebrews 1:3).

Word Studies:

14:11 signs = miracles; 14:33 bear your whoredoms = suffer for your unfaithfulness; 14:45 discomfited = defeated; 15:22 erred = failed; 15:30 doeth ought presumptuously = guilty of a deliberate sin; 15:34 in ward = in custody; jail; 15:38 ribband of blue = cord of blue; 15:39 a whoring = following after desires that are against the Word of God.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY) · Pray for your Pastor · Country: Suriname (431,000) on the northeastern coast of South America · Major languages: Dutch and English · Very limited religious freedom · 27% Hindu; 22% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 20% Muslim; 6% witchcraft and spirit worship · Prayer Suggestion: Trust the Lord for deliverance in times of trouble (Psalms 50:15).

Optional Reading: Luke 6

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:10

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