Numbers 14:1-12 (Part 2) – It Is A Love Without End, Amen!

Posted: September 4, 2016 in Book of Numbers
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Numbers 14:1-12 (Part 2 of 2)

The People Rebel

Have you ever had a child act as though you are the worst parent in the world? There are times in raising a child or even when they are adult children that we, as the parents, have experienced that. I have gone through it myself with my own parents and have recently gone through the experience with it when one of my adult children. I think we all go through it at some point. It’s just part of the game. Consider yourself lucky if you have not. It is a strange situation to be in for sure.

 

You remember worrying over the pregnancy that was to bring this child into the world. You remember not sleeping for the first six weeks of their life. You remember having to take her for rides in the car because that was one wake to get this little spitfire of a child to go to sleep. You remember the hundreds, maybe thousands, of diapers that led to potty training. You remember the cuteness of the toddler years and her daredevil attempts at mimicking something she saw on TV while riding her tricycle. You remember how people said she looked exactly like the littlest girl on the show, Full House, played by Mary Kate and Ashley Olson. You remember wishing you could do more during your second marriage. You remember after that second marriage ended about how you went overboard making it up for it. You remember taking her and six of her middle school friends to the movies and being the cool dad. You remember supporting her financially in so many ways. You remember continuing to love her when she had troubles in her late teens. You remember being in California and having to send your fiancée to be in the emergency room one night when things went bad. You remember wanting the best for her even when she seemed not to want it. You remember hoping and praying that she would go to college and excel like you knew she could and still can. You remember still loving her despite the fact that she didn’t go. You remember being proud that she seemed to find herself when she finally got her first job and was doing so well when she moved on to her second job. Then, things came unraveled again with the death of her mother and she quit her job suddenly. Then, things got testy months later when she turns 25 and you begin to close off the purse strings in an attempt to get her to go back to work. No more cash given for sudden needs. No more car insurance, and forcing her to begin helping with the family cell phone bill. Since that point and much of this following year, I have been the worst parent in the world to her. I was not an understanding parent to her because I did not see her unique situation. It was not that I hated her and favored her sister like she believed. I was just trying to force my 25 year old youngest child to grow up, grab the brass ring, live the life that I know she is capable of living, and stop living this hand-to-mouth existence that she is living. I just love her and want the best for her even when she does not want it herself. Here, only in the last few weeks, has the communication begun again between and I tread tenuously in these waters in hopes, and in prayers, of re-establishing the relationship that has gotten so frayed over the last year.

 

It is a strange thing, a parent’s love. Even when you kids are all grown up and out of your house, you are still a parent. The job doesn’t end with they leave home for good. From holding the newborn child to the day you die, you are loving your child with an unconditional love that never ends. You may get angry with them for, what you perceive as, them wasting their talents and missing their opportunities. You may be disappointed at their cutting you out of their lives for periods of time. You may have to show them tough love at times that they will not understand until they mature (and maybe not until they have children of their own). You may have to play hard ball with them and have them think you are the meanest parent in the world to get them to grow up. However, one thing, they forget to tell you when you become a parent is that you never stop loving them no matter what. No matter if they do not speak to you for months on end or whether they think you are the worst parent in the world. You just love them. You just love them.

 

It is that idea of ongoing, continuing, undaunted love of God for His people, Israel, even when they rebelled against Him, even when He had shown his protection and provision on regular basis. Sure, He would be angered by them as we get with our own children, but He never abandoned them. That idea of how sometimes kids cannot see their parent’s love for them is what I thought of this morning as I read through this passage, Numbers 14:1-12, for the second and final time today:

 

14 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

 

5 Then Moses and Aaron fell face down in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. 6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

 

10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”

 

In this passage, we see that God’s kids are rebelling against Him. With great miracles, God had led the Israelites out of Egypt. He showed His mighty ways to them through the miracles of the ten plagues that led to their release from captivity. He had shown them mighty miracles all along this journey through the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula. He had provided for their every needs all the way up to the doorstep of the land that He had promised them. He had protected them, fed them, and fulfilled every promise that He had made to them. Yet, when it was time to take on the battles that would be required to conquer the Promised Land, they refused to believe in God’s continuing provision for them. Sometimes, God may require us to do things that are very difficult so that His purposes for our lives will be achieved. It is easy to trust God in the good times, right? How bout when He requires something difficult of us? Are we going to rebel against the Father? Why can we not see that He is a loving Father and will never abandon us even when He is requiring us to do something hard or even when He is showing us tough love? Will we wander in the wilderness for a generation just to avoid what our loving Father calls us to do?

 

Why is that will not trust that God will provide for us when we encounter something hard and difficult? Have we not seen God’s provision in our lives before? Has He not kept every promise He has ever made to us? Here, as we will see, the people rebelled against God when He required them to put on their big boy pants and their big girl panties and take on the task of taking the Promised Land. It was not that God was being mean to them. He was just calling them to take on being a full-grown nation and take the land of His promise to them. Just like as a parent, you sometimes have to demand that your child grow up and take on the job of being an adult instead of floundering around and not attacking life. Here, God is saying that it is time to grow up guys. Take the land. It’s going to be hard work. But it will be worth it. You will be a full-grown nation then. Not just a nomadic band roaming in the desert. You will be a grown-up nation. Sometimes, God requires us to grow up too. He may put us through some hardships to get to the Promised Land but He will never forsake us in the process.

 

Just as I will never stop loving my daughter, even though I am pushing her hard to grow up and be a full-grown adult, God will never stop loving us though he may require of us to take on something truly tough! God loves us with a depth that we do not understand. He loves us even when He is pushing us beyond what we think we can do. He will never abandon us though. Go with God. Trust Him. He will never abandon you. Or you can wander in the wilderness just so you don’t have to do something hard or make the tough decisions that need making.

I think George Strait said it best when he sang,

And he said, “Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love,

A secret that my daddy said was just between us.”

He said, “Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then.

It’s a love without end, amen, it’s a love without end, amen.”

 

God loves you!

Amen and Amen.

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