“Please pardon the iniquity of this people, in keeping with the greatness of your faithful love.” —Numbers 14:19
When God delivered the Israelites out of slavery, He led them across the wilderness and to the edge of the land He promised to give to them. Instead of responding in faith, they reacted in unbelief and fear.
In reply, God threatened to destroy the whole Jewish race and to start all over again with Moses. However, Moses pleaded on their behalf (Num. 14:13–19). He knew they deserved to be disinherited from God’s plan, but Moses was jealous for God’s reputation among the pagan nations. He was concerned about how they would respond when they heard God had wiped out His chosen people.
In His incredible mercy, God agreed to pardon the people, though the consequences of their unbelief were stiff. God intended for His people to ultimately die in the Promised Land. Instead, they would die in the wilderness. It’s no small thing, as Charles Spurgeon said, to see God’s glory and the signs He’s done for us and then to put Him to the test and disobey His voice.
Make it Personal
Have you ever chosen to let fear and unbelief guide you rather than faith in God? What were the consequences?