Numbers 14:26-32, 36-45
It is an awful thing when the Lord takes men at their word, and says Amen to their wicked speeches. They said that they were brought out to die in the wilderness, and the Lord tells them that die they shall. It was at this time that the Lord sware in his wrath, that they should not enter into his rest.
God will not forget the innocent: though there be but two of them there shall be a clause of exemption in the act of judgment.
With what contempt are they spoken of! Again and again their bodies are called “carcases,” as if they were no better than beasts. Sin makes men contemptible.
The ten spies had been the cause of all this evil, and they were justly cut off at once, as a pledge that the Lord would be as good as his word to the rest of that evil generation.
Like the pendulum which swings from one side to the other, they went from one form of sin to its opposite.
It is dangerous, yea, deadly, to go where God will not go with us.
Nothing is difficult when the Lords power goes forth with us, but to enter upon any service without the help of God is folly, and can only end in defeat. Those who try to fight their own way to heaven, will, like these Jews, find the enemies of their souls too many for them. Presumption is as dangerous as unbelief: they are often companions, and seem to alternate in the souls of the unregenerate like the heat of summer, and the cold of winter: may the Lord deliver us from both.
We live estranged and far from God,
And love the distance well;
With haste we run the dangerous road
That leads to death and hell.
And can such rebels be restored?
Such natures made divine?
Let sinners see thy glory, Lord,
And feel this power of thine.
We raise our Father’s name on high,
Who his own Spirit sends
To bring rebellious strangers nigh,
And turn his foes to friends.