Numbers 19 The Water of Cleansing

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 There simply is no cleansing without sacrifice. Even as early as the journey through the desert, the Israelites had to deal with sin.  God Gave Moses and Aaron a method for cleansing.  The method was elaborate, and those that prepared for it paid a price of being ceremonially unclean. Still, God made provision for the people to be able to be cleansed for their sin. 

​The ashes for purification would be a way to continue to be in community; even when there was sin. God never wanted to be separated from his chosen people. Still, God hated sin. He never wanted it in his presence. So, to deal with sin, He made a way for cleansing. The reality is that the people’s sins were not truly wiped away by spreading ashes in water, but, there would, one day, be a sacrifice that would actually and completely cleanse sin.  The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

​We are blessed to walk in the forgiveness of sin. Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross made a full and final payment for that sin. We no longer need to kill heifers, spread ashes, or wash our clothes to be cleansed. Instead, we simply need to confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord; and, believe that God truly raised Him from the dead–and we will be saved. Romans 10:9.  We can never underestimate the depth and breadth of God’s Love for us. Instead, we can only thank and praise the Lord for what He has done.  He has made provision for our sin and given us the opportunity to experience full, meaningful and eternal life. 

God Bless You  

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “This is a requirement of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke. Give it to Eleazar the priest; it is to be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence. Then Eleazar the priest is to take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the tent of meeting. While he watches, the heifer is to be burned—its hide, flesh, blood and intestines. The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool and throw them onto the burning heifer. After that, the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water. He may then come into the camp, but he will be ceremonially unclean till evening. The man who burns it must also wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he too will be unclean till evening.

“A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They are to be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin. 10 The man who gathers up the ashes of the heifer must also wash his clothes, and he too will be unclean till evening. This will be a lasting ordinance both for the Israelites and for the foreigners residing among them.

Numbers 18–Giving and the Levites

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The Levites had a unique role among the Israelites. They were to be the ones that served as the priests and caretakers of God’s tent of meeting and God’s stuff.  In that role, they had no assigned lands, nor any fields from which to build an inheritance for their families.  they lived among the rest of the tribes, and carried out the spiritual functions.  In that role, God allowed them to take the tithe for Him from the people of Israel.  God made it clear, the people were to give back to him.  They were to give a tenth of what they brought in, and it was to be the  “best” and not the rest.
 
The Levites were to receive the tithe; and, they were to give a tithe of that to Aaron and his family. That 10th was also to be the “best” and not the rest. Aaron and his family were to sacrifice as well–you got it…”Best” and not the rest. The purpose was to remember that God provided it all. It was also a reminder that as a community, God’s people were to do their part to support the ministry. The priests and Levites were God’s Liaisons. As such, they were given special responsibilities. They were not given typical lives to grow and build an inheritance. Everyone had to give; and as everyone gave, God blessed it, and allowed the nation to grow and thrive.  
 
God still calls us to give-we need to give our best and we need to do so knowing that it supports the ministry and allows God to bless us.  In 2nd Corinthians 9:7 Paul says, “As each man purposes in his heart, so let him give. Not grudgingly or out of necessity–for God loves a cheerful giver.”  God never strong arms us. He simply reminds us that our gifts are from His wealth and as we trust him, God will provide for our needs.  It is a difficult part of faith to release our treasure.  God understands. But, as we continue to give; rest assured, that the Lord will make sure our needs are met!  Thanks Lord, for sharing your stuff with us!

“I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting. 22 From now on the Israelites must not go near the tent of meeting, or they will bear the consequences of their sin and will die. 23 It is the Levites who are to do the work at the tent of meeting and bear the responsibility for any offenses they commit against it. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites. 24 Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the Lord. That is why I said concerning them: ‘They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.’”

25 The Lord said to Moses, 26 “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the Lord’s offering. 27 Your offering will be reckoned to you as grain from the threshing floor or juice from the wine-press. 28 In this way you also will present an offering to the Lord from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the Lord’s portion to Aaron the priest. 29 You must present as the Lord’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.’

30 “Say to the Levites: ‘When you present the best part, it will be reckoned to you as the product of the threshing floor or the wine-press. 31 You and your households may eat the rest of it anywhere, for it is your wages for your work at the tent of meeting. 32 By presenting the best part of it you will not be guilty in this matter; then you will not defile the holy offerings of the Israelites, and you will not die.’”

Numbers 18 Part 1–Picking Up The Pieces

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Despite the chaos of the priests, God took Aaron aside, and appointed he and his family to take over the duties of the Kohathites. God already made clear that Moses and Aaron were His picks, but since Kohath and his family rebelled, God expanded Aaron’s families responsibilities to include the care and moving of God’s precious things.  It must have been both an honor and a sadness to be the family to care for the temple treasures. 
 
Aaron and his family would gladly and honorably complete the assignment; but, it would also be a reminder of the rebellion.  God was still aligning the people with His plan.  Such an alignment was difficult. God was in a way, starting from “square-one”. But, God straightened His own house first, then the Lord would work to align the remainder of the people.
 
This passage is a simple reminder that God never quits on us. No matter the disaster or sin, God will pick up and move forward with His plan.  It is also a reminder that sin leaves a hole. When we rebel, it not only affects us; but, it also affects many innocent people around us.  We cannot undo the damaged caused. God can, however, begin to move forward and replace and restore what is loss with His best and His brightest.  We have to remember that God knows everything and has a plan for us and our lives.  Jeremiah said it best, “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord! Plans to prosper you–and not to harm you. Plans to Give you hope and a future!” Jeremiah 29:11.
 
God Bless You

The Lord said to Aaron, “You, your sons and your family are to bear the responsibility for offenses connected with the sanctuary, and you and your sons alone are to bear the responsibility for offenses connected with the priesthood. Bring your fellow Levites from your ancestral tribe to join you and assist you when you and your sons minister before the tent of the covenant law. They are to be responsible to you and are to perform all the duties of the tent, but they must not go near the furnishings of the sanctuary or the altar. Otherwise both they and you will die. They are to join you and be responsible for the care of the tent of meeting—all the work at the tent—and no one else may come near where you are.

“You are to be responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the altar, so that my wrath will not fall on the Israelites again. I myself have selected your fellow Levites from among the Israelites as a gift to you, dedicated to the Lord to do the work at the tent of meeting. But only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary is to be put to death.”

Numbers 17-A Failure to Communicate

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There was a great classic movie called Cool Hand Luke. In the movie, Steve McQueen was a prisoner that acted as escape artist.  He drove the prison warden crazy. As McQueen would be recaptured, the punishments would become more severe.  The warden, as he issued the punishment, would say these classic words, “What we have, here, is a failure to communicate.” Such was the case with God, Moses and the children of Israel.
 
God set Moses as the leader of the people. God set Aaron, Moses brother, as the head of the Levites who were the spiritual leaders of the people. Well, after the people rebelled against these men and God, many died. So now, to end the unrest, God told the people to designate a leader from each tribe, and put the leaders name on a staff.  God then had the staffs brought to Him, in the Tabernacle, and He told them he would make the staff of His leader sprout!  Pretty clear assignment; and a pretty clear sign from God.
 
God told them that He would choose so that people would quit rebelling and then have to be punished and or die.  Seemed like a clear message.  So Aaron’s staff budded, sprouted and produced almonds. No other staff did anything. Aaron was God’s clear choice–end of discussion. So the people’s response was a clear “Failure to communicate”! They came to Moses and cried, “We are lost now, are we going to die?” 
 
Really? God just said–“I will choose; so no one else has to die!”…What they had there was a failure to communicate.  God loved His people. He wanted to lead them, bless them and simply make them the greatest nation on earth. They simply could not understand. So, they continued to miss the point.
 
In our lives, God wants the same. He wants to lead us, guide us, and prepare us for eternity. All God asks in exchange, is for us to allow Him to lead us and have a relationship with us. We are constantly looking for the other answer. Like the Israelites we miss the point–God always wants to mold us, bless us and make us the best we can be. It is sometimes very difficult training, but, if we will simply trust Him, we will be blessed. Seems reasonable to me!
 
God Bless You

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes. Write the name of each man on his staff. On the staff of Levi write Aaron’s name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe. Place them in the tent of meeting in front of the ark of the covenant law, where I meet with you. The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.”

So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and their leaders gave him twelve staffs, one for the leader of each of their ancestral tribes, and Aaron’s staff was among them. Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the covenant law.

The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds. Then Moses brought out all the staffs from the Lord’s presence to all the Israelites. They looked at them, and each of the leaders took his own staff.

10 The Lord said to Moses, “Put back Aaron’s staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die.” 11 Moses did just as the Lord commanded him.

12 The Israelites said to Moses, “We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! 13 Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all going to die?”

Numbers 16 Part 2–God, the Vindicator

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Moses and Aaron went to the only place they knew to quash the rebellion–God. They could tell immediately, that God was on their side.  God told Moses and Aaron to have the people move away from the tents of the rebels.  The rebels and the disloyal priests were ready to humiliate Moses and Aaron–well, that was right before God destroyed them and swallowed them up into the earth.  
 
God will not be mocked.  He set Moses and Aaron as the leaders, and He would protect His chosen against any enemy–even an enemy within the camp.  What the rebels failed to discern was that God that would take action against any enemy; even them. It’s strange; these men saw the plagues, the Red Sea, the golden calf.  Each day they ate food that God provided and saw God’s very presence in the camp.  Still, despite God’s consistent presence, they thought they knew better than God himself.  They were wrong, and the error cost them their lives, and the lives of their families.
 
There are difficult days. In the midst of those difficult days, the enemy whispers in our ears that we can do better on our own. He tells us that God is fine and all, but, He is kind of busy. If we believe Satan’s lie; we begin to second guess God’s plan, and risk destroying our lives and the lives of many others.  When we trust and follow the Lord, He will protect us from those that would destroy us.  He may not swallow them up, but God will make sure His people are protected and vindicated. At day’s end, Moses and Aaron were vindicated. It did not please them to see these people lose their lives, but, it made their leadership easier and it caused the people to realize it was God, not Moses and Aaron that set and executed the plan.
 
The people would not soon forget the importance of following God closely. They would not question God’s, Moses’ or Aaron’s authority. They now knew that it was their job to follow, and God’s to do the rest–a generation’s lesson for preparation to take what God was giving them.
 
God Bless You

But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, “O God, the God who gives breath to all living things, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?”

23 Then the Lord said to Moses, 24 “Say to the assembly, ‘Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’”

25 Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 He warned the assembly, “Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins.” 27 So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents.

28 Then Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: 29 If these men die a natural death and suffer the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the realm of the dead, then you will know that these men have treated the Lord with contempt.”

31 As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. 33 They went down alive into the realm of the dead,with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. 34 At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!”

35 And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.

36 The Lord said to Moses, 37 “Tell Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, to remove the censers from the charred remains and scatter the coals some distance away, for the censers are holy—38 the censers of the men who sinned at the cost of their lives. Hammer the censers into sheets to overlay the altar, for they were presented before the Lord and have become holy. Let them be a sign to the Israelites.”

I Thessalonians 5–Thanksgiving

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This is a rare Saturday post. I am writing this one to remind myself and you that we are to be Thankful and grateful.  Paul was telling the people that they were to encourage one another, they were to acknowledge the efforts of those that worked hard. They were to be grateful and Thankful in all circumstances.  Not because it was easy, but simply because it was God’s will for Christian’s lives.

While it is often difficult, we are to rejoice always, pray continually and be thankful in any and every circumstance. If we will trust God and follow that plan, it is certain that we can overcome the struggles that we face and honor God with our lives.  

This is a week to be thankful. We celebrate it, we stop our business for it.  We gather as families to remember that we have been prepared, protected, provided for by a God that sees and knows all. Let us never take that for granted, and let us always remain thankful.

God Bless You

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Final Instructions

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

Numbers 16 Part 1–Let’s Let God Decide

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Moses had grown accustomed to the insolence of the people. Every day, it seemed, some of them were complaining about something. While it was never pleasant, Moses would take it in stride and keep humbly leading the people. But on this day, after Moses had watched the people rebel; after God told Moses the current adults would never enter Canaan; and Moses would be leading them around the desert–Moses was hit with a blow he did not expect–he was accused by his Levite leader of being the one to dishonor God.  It was an outright rebellion and attempted overthrow.
 
Moses was devastated. He never wanted the Job! God dragged him in and trained him. He and God talked almost daily. Moses was one of the most humble men in history. To be accused of setting himself above the assembly…and by the men he trusted the most–was almost more than he could bear.  But, as Moses was a true friend of God, he did what only a friend could do–Moses said fine, lets let God tell us who He supports.  I am certain the men in rebellion swallowed big when they heard that. 
 
 It is easy  to get a group of unhappy folks together to complain and stir up trouble, but, when God comes down in a cloud every day in the camp–you better be ready to face Him.  These men heard God on the mountain. They saw God lead them daily. They felt God’s wrath as he burned the edges of camp and dropped quail on them til they were stuffed.  Still, they thought they could overthrow His anointed leader! 
 
Moses had nothing to lose–In truth, God was all he had anyway. If this God that dragged him from Midian, took him to Egypt, lead him through the plagues and Exodus saw him as rebellious, then so be it.  So, God would be the judge.  
 
In our lives, we often do all we can to trust and follow God.  In the journey, we fail, we fall and we get up and march again. Throughout the journey, however, we must continue to humbly seek God. If we do, no matter what the enemy , the world or even our closest allies may charge us with–like Moses, we can simply hit our knees and let God decide.  If we can trust God through those most arduous of trials; then we can trust God through anything.  Trusting God through anything is exactly where we need to be.
 
God Bless You

Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent[a] and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”

When Moses heard this, he fell face down. Then he said to Korah and all his followers: “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him. You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: Take censers and tomorrow put burning coals and incense in them before the Lord. The man the Lord chooses will be the one who is holy. You Levites have gone too far!”

Numbers 15 Part 1–Giving our Best

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It had been a horrendous week for God, Moses and the people.  The Israelites’ rebellion had cost them their entrance into the promised Land. God, being God, however, wanted the people to understand He would still be with them and eventually would allow Israel to claim the promise.  Until then, however, God wanted the people to still live and walk as a chosen people.  

He began to instruct Moses on how to present offerings.  As one reads about the offerings–the precision and the detail may seem picky, but, the message is clear–God wanted His people’s best in their offerings and sacrifices.  God did not survive on the offerings presented by the people–He is God and needs nothing. Instead, God required the people to be thoughtful and careful in how they served and worshiped Him.  God looked at their hearts. If the people were not willing to be careful and thoughtful in their worship, it was a bigger issue than simple weights and measures. It was worshiping out of obligation vs. worshiping with a grateful heart.

The same holds true today. God looks at us.  He wants nothing more than for us to lead with a heart of worship. Each day as we journey–it is not about the substance of our gifts and worship, it is about the heart. If we give out of compulsion or obligation–we tend to “Phone it in!”. If we truly give out of a heart of gratefulness, we want nothing more than to demonstrate that gratitude in all that we do and bring. Paul said it best, “As each man purposes in his heart, so let him give. Not out of compulsion or obligation, because God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

God Bless You

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘After you enter the land I am giving you as a home and you present to the Lord food offerings from the herd or the flock, as an aroma pleasing to the Lord—whether burnt offerings or sacrifices, for special vows or freewill offerings or festival offerings— then the person who brings an offering shall present to the Lord a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah[a] of the finest flour mixed with a quarter of a hin[b] of olive oil. With each lamb for the burnt offering or the sacrifice, prepare a quarter of a hin of wine as a drink offering.

“‘With a ram prepare a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah[c] of the finest flour mixed with a third of a hin[d] of olive oil, and a third of a hin of wine as a drink offering. Offer it as an aroma pleasing to the Lord.

“‘When you prepare a young bull as a burnt offering or sacrifice, for a special vow or a fellowship offering to the Lord, bring with the bull a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah[e] of the finest flour mixed with half a hin[f] of olive oil, 10 and also bring half a hin of wine as a drink offering. This will be a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 11 Each bull or ram, each lamb or young goat, is to be prepared in this manner. 12 Do this for each one, for as many as you prepare.

Numbers 14 Part 3–The Huge Price of Sin

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When the Israelites decided to rebel, they had no idea the extent of pain their rebellion would cause.  They lost their opportunity to enter the land God prepared for them and prepared them to take. Over 400 years in the making, and the people took that blessing away.  When it finally dawned on the people what they had done, they were heartbroken. Besides that, the spies that led the insurrection were killed by a plague from God.
 
In addition to the direct cost of their sin, others also paid a price.  The children would grow up as nomadic travelers because their parents failed to trust God. It would be an additional 40 years before anyone would step into Canaan. Moses and Aaron would continue to lead this mob, with all their stiff necks, across the desert–knowing the promised land was so close. Finally, God would have to carry the embarrassment of not allowing His people to enter the land He promised them.  They begged and tried, but even in that attempt; they were soundly beaten.
 
Sin has a steep price. Even though we are forgiven, often the cost of our sin is enormous. The cost hits us, our family, our friends and those around us. Often, people pay a price for our actions, without any direct relationship to us.  That is why God calls us to be holy. Our holiness does not save us, but it does keep us from making choices that unravel our lives and the lives of those around us. Life is simpler, more peaceful and more fulfilling–if we will simply seek God, and follow Him humbly and closely. Make no mistake, sin still carries a huge price–on us, our families and those that cross our paths. Help me Lord to seek you and avoid sin at every turn.
 
God Bless You
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: 29 In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 32 But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. 33 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness. 34 For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ …

So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— 37 these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord. 38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.39 When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. 40 Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised. Surely we have sinned!”

41 But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed! 42 Do not go up, because the Lord is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, 43 for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the Lord, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.”

44 Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.

Numbers 14 Part 2–The Heartbreak of Sin

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The people made a choice. They were willing to kill Moses and Aaron, abandon God, and march back to Egypt. This, in the midst of the presence of a God, who simply wanted to fulfill His promise, and give them a land of their very own.  Needless to say, God was not pleased. God appeared at the tent of meeting for all the people to see. There is little doubt that the unrest ceased, and the people realized that they had just made a big mistake.
 
Moses met with God–God was ready to wipe the lot of them out…They had done nothing to say thanks for their deliverance; other than to act with contempt,  whine and complain. Moses calmed God down by reminding him that it was God that would be shamed by their destruction. The other nations would question God’s authority–since God could not manage the people He had freed.  So, God spared the people, sort of.  He would still lead them provide and protect them; but, He would not allow them to enter or settle the promised land.  Only Joshua and Caleb would gain that privilege.
 
It would be a life of regret always being close, but never being released to enjoy the promise.  Difficult for God, who so wanted to bless them. Difficult for Moses–who would have to spend his life leading the people. What a true act of love and leadership, missing the blessing when he never wavered about his faith. Still, while not enjoying the blessing they might have, God would still love and lead the people–because He loved them.
 
In our lives, God loves us just as much.  He is heart broken when we fail to trust and follow Him. He forgives us, and continues to prepare, provide and protect us. Still, it grieves God to see us miss out on the blessing He wants for us.  We need to seek God’s will, and follow Him, even when it does not seem easy nor pleasant.  In His time, God will bless us–we simply have to trust Him.  If we fail to do so, He will forgive us; but, He may not bless us.  That would be a shame.
 
God Bless You

 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.”

13 Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. 14 And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. 15 If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, 16 ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’

17 “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ 19 In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”

20 The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, 22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. 25 Since the Amalekites and the Canaanitesare living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.[a]