Because of the murmurings of the Israelites and their desire to return to Egypt, God was ready to judge His people for not taking the land He had promised them. God told Moses that He was prepared to eradicate them with pestilence and make a new nation of Moses as He had done with Abraham. In humility, Moses interceded for His people and this was his prayer:
1. Don’t punish the just (Caleb & Joshua) and the innocent (children) with the unjust.
Num. 14:15-21 “Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man,”
2. Don’t allow the judgment upon your people to change the world’s view of You.
“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.”
3. Reveal your GREATNESS through Your mercy!
“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.
4. Reveal your GREATNESS through Your grace!
“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.”
LESSON - God MUST be glorified! In order for this to happen, unbelief must be judged while faith is rewarded. Joshua & Caleb had shown faithfulness during this trial, so they along with the children would be the only ones allowed to enter God’s promise.
The 10 spies were judged immediately showing that there is greater punishment for those with greater responsibility. If Believers fail to obey immediately, which is a sign of unbelief, they may inadvertently pass their sinful behaviors onto future generations and see God “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” Like Moses, we need to repent and appeal to God’s grace and mercy so that we may experience the blessing of Caleb & Joshua rather than judgment similar to the Israelites. It’s the only way for God to be glorified in us! “And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.”