The Rebellion

“But now, I pray let the power of the LORD be great, just as You have declared, ‘The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression;” Numbers 14:17-18

When Moses, Aaron Joshua and Caleb led the people to be a part of what God was doing they rebelled anyway and sought to murder their leaders. The murmuring majority of the body politic had gangrened into a gang of grumblers. This only happens, EVERY TIME.

“All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron…” Numbers 14:2

Majority rule is rarely right but is seldom in doubt. The majority will run over the truth, turn a leader into a speed-bump, and leap over God-given barriers to declare themselves the winner of any cultural or spiritual battle. When the majority flies off the cliff, they intend to stick the landing. Don’t follow them.

These four men were in the minority, but they were on God’s side. This is always the right side of history. The minority put the emphasis where it belongs. They knew they are on the right side of history, when it is HIS STORY. The majority got their way that day, but God saved the day for all of us who will follow His lead.

“The Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in the presence of the assembly of the congregation…” Numbers 14:5

When the people rebelled their leaders did not fall on their swords. Their leaders fell on their faces. They met aggression with intercession. They pleaded for The Presence of God to enter into the crisis of faith. They appealed to the people to feed their faith, not their fear, and to trust God.

Fear is always the fundamental issue when it comes to putting trust in God. The people feared the people in the land. They may have been freed from bondage in Egypt, but they still lived in the bondage of fear. They let the enemy overshadow The Presence of God. He had freed them from slavery, but they were afraid to trust Him for victory.

“”Only do not rebel against the Lord, and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, do not fear them.’ But all the congregation said to stone them with stones.” V. 10

Rebellion has consequences. God will not ignore it at any level. From the personal to the national level, God meets it with a tight fist. God said to Moses, “I will smite them…” V. 12

Moses took God’s word to heart, and it broke his heart for the people. He pleaded with God for pardon. It was the one thing the rebels deserved the least, but it was the one thing they needed the most.

“Pardon, I pray the iniquity of the people according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness,...”
V. 19

Answered prayer is the most redemptive power in the world. God answered the prayer of Moses. He did not destroy the rebels. He let them have their way. They would be forgiven of their rebellion. They would not die that day, but they would not be allowed to enter the land of promise. God cancelled their passports.

“So the Lord said, ‘I have pardoned them according to your word.’” V. 20
“They shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it.” V. 23

The LORD has no tolerance for unrepentant rebellion. Those who put Him to the test ten times and disobeyed His voice were banished from entering the land He had promised. Rebellion requires a price and it isn’t cheap. Jesus paid it all.

NOTE TO SELF: You may lose count of the many times you have not listened to the voice of God. God does not. His records are clear. Keeping clear accounts with God requires keeping short accounts with Him. Prayer enables you to do both. Pray to The Father, in the name of The Son, seeking the soul-cleansing Presence of The Spirit not just to comfort you but to convict you of sin and to call you to repentance for your rebellion.

Prayerlessness is rebellion. It may not cost you your life. The heavy price is the loss of personal intimacy with The Father. When it is easier for you to disobey God, than it is for you to pray to God, you are in rebellion. Prayer connects you with the intercession of The Son, and the promise-birthing power of The Spirit. Trust God. Obey His voice.