“Walking By Sight”
Our Text: Book of Numbers Chapters 11-20
Our Focus: Numbers 13:27-28, 30-33; 14:6-9, 28-35
There can be no question that chapters 11-20 of the Book of Numbers describe some of the most tragic events in the entire Bible!
From a point in time when Israel should have entered into the Promised Land, they fell from the “Grace” of God in great depths and most of these that escaped Egypt, would die in the wilderness.
Even Moses would lose his privilege of entering into the Promised Land!
These chapters are filled with one disaster and missed opportunity after another.
Some things we should learn are:
1.) Sin comes because we have short memories of what God has done for us.
2.) Discontent comes from distrust.
3.) Influence from those of the world can affect, God’s people.
4.) The standards of Spiritual living may be lowered by stress if we allow it.
5.) But God is very pitiful and full of mercy even to His children who fail Him.
6.) The Gifts of the Holy Spirit cannot be limited nor can they be monopolized by any one group of God’s people.
7.) There is joy in being filled with God’s Holy Spirit!
It is a sad thing that the human heart is prone to forget the love of God!
History books are full of the facts that we just do not learn our lessons from our actions, so history repeats itself over and over and over again!
It takes “faith” to be able to follow God!
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
We should notice that God is not very happy with those that complain.
We are told to come out from this world and to be a separate people!
We will not have joy by listening to what this world may tell us!
Num 11:4 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
We can see it was a mixed multitude that started this turmoil with God’s people.
The Hebrew word “asapsup” is used here, which means a”rabble” or it could be said the “rift-raft” which are controlled by Satan were causing problems with God’s people.
Because they had no “faith” in the Lord, because their hearts were never changed!
Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
In most cases in our assemblies it seems that those that complain the most to the Pastor and to the Elders of the church are the very ones that come running to the Church for help. These are, in most cases those that have no faith!
Jesus teaches the Body of Christ the parable of the “wheat and the tares” which says that where ever the Lord plants His true children, the Devil will come along and plant his counterfeits! (Matt 13:24-43)
The Apostle Paul warned the early church of false brethren. (Gal 2:4)
The Apostle Paul even warns us of the false Gospel that is preached in many assemblies today. (Gal 1:6-9)
In most cases as we have already learned, it is these false brethren inside the church that can cause more damage than those enemies outside the church.
These counterfeits, might dress like the church, and march like the church but they do not have an craving for Spiritual Things!
These people crave the things of the world and not the things of God!
There is no substitute in the world, for the things of God!
Just think, we see churches that strive to attract and please this mixed multitude, but the commandment of God is to reach out to the sinner not to those that continuously reject God’s commandments.
We see churches that turn the house of God into a place of entertainment rather than a place of worship.
That mixed multitude will attend for a performance but they will rebel against godly worship!
There have been some of these people in every church from the beginning and these are the very ones that will find God’s true people gone on the day of the “Rapture”.
Paul told us:
Php 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
Php 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Php 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Not only was the Apostle Paul discouraged by this sort of people, we can see that even Moses, God’s man, became very discouraged and this can happen to our man of God, our Pastor.
What did Moses say:
Num 11:29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!
And what has God done?
Every Born Again child of God is filled and sealed with the Holy Spirit and we are all to be the God’s Priest!
A valuable lesson we should learn from the Book of Numbers is that when God wants to judge people, “He Will Just Let Them Have Their Own Way”!
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
If God left this world alone, It Would Destroy Itself!
But, God will sometimes use the things He gives us to test our obedience to Him.
The Manna given to Israel was such a gift!
Exo 16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, [that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no].
We need to be very wise in how we handle the gifts of God!
Num 13:27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.
Num 13:28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.
Num 13:29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
Num 13:30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
Num 13:31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
Num 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
Num 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
We should remember, God delivered this new Nation of Israel out of Egypt so they could enter into the land promised to Abraham. The Lord reminded them on many occasions of this fact.
God’s promise was the “title deed” to this land which is still in effect today as many are still trying to deny this land to Israel.
God guaranteed that they would defeat their enemies!
It was doubt in God’s Word that caused Israel the most problems and they began to “walk by sight” and “not by faith”.
Anything that is not of faith is then a lie and is sin:
1Jn 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1Jn 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
We must defend our faith at every opportunity:
Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you [that ye should earnestly contend for the faith] which was once delivered unto the saints.
What was the first sign of doubt?
They wanted to see for themselves:
Deu 1:22 And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.
They just could not accept God’s Word!
God allowed this so He could teach them a valuable lesson.
We sometimes have to learn some painful lessons before we accept that it is God that is always right and if we do differently, we will always be wrong!
These 12 men spent 40 days just to see that what God had said, was true.
1.) They already knew the names of those nations.
2.) They had already been told it was a good land.
3.) They had already been told that this was a land flowing with milk and honey.
4.) They saw the great bounty of the land in it’s food supply, God had said that this would be true.
5.) They even visited Hebron the burial place of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and even Joseph.
None of these things encouraged them in God’s Word!
The survey of the land may have been good for a military nation but not for the Spiritual nation of Israel.
**God had already given them the land, all they had to do was go in and take possession of it.
**God had promised them the victory!
All they had to do was to “Trust and Obey”!
**God had said He would go before them and scatter their enemies!
They doubted God’s Promises!
Sounds familiar does it not.
**God has given every saved child of God the victory yet, we still doubt He will fulfill His promises.
It’s no wonder we still struggle to obtain the joy of the Lord and find peace in our lives!
Now As Paul Harvey would say “we will see the rest of the story”.
When we “walk by sight”, we will always be discouraged!
We have watched our government, men and women that we put in place with our vote, gather in their sessions to look after the people of this great nation. What is the end result? We have had a “do nothing government” that have only yielded to the the abortionist, the gay community, and to the rich and ungodly of this nation.
They have done nothing to make things better for the majority of this nation and they don’t intend to!
These 12 spies, except for Caleb and Joshua, chose to forget what God said and “Became a Do Nothing” group of men!
This set off discouragement through out the nation of Israel.
I don’t know about you but I am more discouraged every day with the actions of our own elected officials.
I know there are some good people there but they yield to those “do nothing people” that have managed to wrangle their way into the leadership roles and we have a President who has his own agenda and does not care what the people of this nation think.
I’m sorry but that’s the way I feel!
Israel was in this same situation. This committee of 10 had no faith in the Word of God.
This is when doubt turns into unbelief!
The promised land became “just a piece of land” and not the “homeland” promised of God.
WHEN WE LOOSE SIGHT OF HEAVEN, THEN THIS PLACE WE LIVE IN DOES NOT SEEM SO BAD!
Heaven is our home! Heaven is the Promised Land of the believer!
We cannot allow the things of this world to cause discouragement!
They saw a fruitful land to be desired, but they could only remember, cities with walls to big to overcome and every man looked to be a giant.
The men of Israel were shorter than the average Gentile but Canaan land was not full of giants!
And the men of Israel were not grasshoppers!
When we say “we are not able”, we have taken Jehovah God out of the picture!
The Bible says:
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
There was once three Jewish boys that knew the difference in Faith and unbelief:
Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
Dan 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Satan is the “little g”, god of discouragement. When we choose to serve him we will fail!
We must realize that what Our Lord says He will do, He Will Then Do!
Abraham had this kind of faith!
Rom 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
This is the faith we should have also!
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Our faith must be based on the Word of God and the knowledge that Our God cannot fail!
To not believe is to rebel against God’s Word, which is to rebel against The Lord!
These Jews decided to remain slaves rather than seek the freedom that God promises.
We have this decision to make for our selves!
I tell you, I have refused to be a slave to this world. Heaven is my home, And I Am Going There!
Num 14:6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:
Num 14:7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.
Num 14:8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.
Num 14:9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
We can see that discouragement now would bring defiance!
When we focus our eyes only on ourselves and only on our own circumstances, we lose our perspective of the truth!
Our own government have the majority of Americans in this position now. America has lost sight of the goals of our nation and can think of only our individual self.
If we can see the truth, we can see that the Body of Christ is also loosing sight of the “goals of God” and are also thinking more and more of their own selves.
We are also becoming a “do nothing people” in this world we live in!
How can we expect God’s Blessings!
Until we can admit where we fail The Lord, we can never have real victory in our lives!
When we find ourselves in God’s Will, we will find no room to complain!
A complaining spirit is the evidence of an ungrateful heart!
A “complainer” is then, one who says he knows more than God Himself and knows more of how to take care of himself!
The titles of this lesson is “Walking By Sight”
1.) What did the ten spies see?
The unbelieving saw a land that would devour Israel.
2.) What did Joshua and Caleb see?
They saw a land that God’s Army would devour.
The nation of Israel did not see things at all, but chose to believe the ten who lied and decided to stone those that had faith.
We can see this happening in every place in this world and it is coming to America unless we stand up for God and Our Lord NOW!
God’s Will, Is God’s Love!
God’s Plan, Comes From His Heart!
The Bible says:
Psa 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Psa 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
God’s Will Is Not Punishment!
God’s Will Is Nourishment For Our Soul!
Joh 4:31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
Joh 4:32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
Joh 4:33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
Joh 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, [My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work].
God’s Will Is Not A Chain That Binds Us, that is the bondage that comes from The Devil!
Psa 2:3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
God’s Will Is A Cord That Ties Us To His Heart!
Hos 11:4 I drew them with cords of a man, [with bands of love] and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
God Wants Us To Know His Will, He Will Not Hide His Will From Us!
Act 22:14 And he said, [The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will], and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
God only has ONE rule about His Will!
“If we are not willing to obey, then God is not obligated to show us His Will for us”!
Num 14:28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:
Num 14:29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,
Num 14:30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
Num 14:31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
Num 14:32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.
Num 14:33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.
Num 14:34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
Num 14:35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.
We must fully understand that if we are foolish enough to tempt God, We Will See His Judgment!
Because He is a Holy God, He must punish sin!
BUT, Because He is a gracious and merciful God, He will also forgive sin!
God solved this for us by sending the Lord Jesus to die in our place.
Because of the cross, God is both just and the justifier, but only to those that trust in Him and His Promises!
God will uphold His Holy Law!
God will be true to His Character!
God has made forgiveness available through Jesus Christ!
When the truth of God is rejected, He will allow sin to have it’s effect on our lives!
God will never hold our children responsible for our actions. They will always be responsible for their own actions!
AND, Just because God will forgive, it does not give us a license to sin!
The Bible says:
Psa 130:3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
Psa 130:4 But there is forgiveness with thee, [that thou mayest be feared.]
Psa 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
That word fear means “to have a moral reverence” to the Word of God and To The One Who Wrote This Book We Call The Bible.
The Bible is “The Word Of God”!
What was God’s judgment at this time:
1.) The Nation of Israel would wander in the wilderness for a total of 40 years. One year for each day they spied on the land.
2.) During this time, the older generation would die off. (Twenty years and up to the eldest)
3.) Those ten unbelieving spies died because they gave such an evil report.
This judgment caused conviction throughout all of Israel but God had said what He would do and God would do what He said!
The Nation of Israel would see death daily because of unbelief.
We need to realize, we see death every day of those that do not know God and this is the death of Hell!
We need to be busy about the Masters Work!
Israel mourned greatly. They showed regret but they refused to repent!
Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the Lord but we do not read that any of these people did the same.
Admitting sin is not the same thing as confessing sin!
When we are not right with God, we can never ask for God’s help!
Or we may still ask but He will not hear us.
Our efforts without God are futile:
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: [for without me ye can do nothing].
The lesson we should learn is:
There is no substitute for “faith”!
We must trust God no matter how we feel!
No matter what we think!
And no matter what we see!
When we walk in our own sight and try to serve by the things we see, we are doomed for failure and we will see the wrath of God!
When we trust and obey the Word of God, The Lord will delight in us and we will receive blessings while we are yet alive on this earth!
Faith is taking God at His Word and proving it by obeying what He tells us to do!