Tuesday, 27 September 2022
“If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us….” -Numbers 14:8
The journey of the Israelites to Canaan is synonymous with the journey of a born-again Christian in this life. Note that despite the manifest presence of God among them and the visible signs and wonders they had witnessed, how easily they forgot all that and slipped into utmost fear and self-pity and rejected the wonderful plan of God!
The declaration given in the key verse was made by Joshua and Caleb, which reveals their undeterred faith in God and His promises! The fact they proclaim is: to reach their destiny planned by God, their lives need to be pleasing to God! What a profound truth! Do we not see professing Christians living sensuous lives, yet aspiring to reach heaven? Do we not see Bible-believing people living in the way of the world, rejecting God’s simple instructions and hoping somehow to reach eternity?
The book of Hebrews deals with this incident in Exodus 14 and finally concludes in Heb.4:11 “Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” How can we be diligent? How can we lead a life pleasing to God so that He will be pleased with us? Let’s understand these truths to run our race faithfully and reach our destiny – heaven!!
A quick review of the preceding verses to Heb.4:11 will provide us insights to stay strong in our Christian walk that we do not veer off track. Having instructed the believers to be diligent, the writer takes their attention to three important aspects:
Hold on to the Word of God: Hebrews 4:12 talks about the function of the Word of God – “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Unlike the rest of the community, Joshua and Caleb took God at His Word! They believed what God spoke to them and acted accordingly. God speaks to His children through His Word- it teaches, corrects, shows us our wrongs (2 Tim.3:16); let us look into the mirror of the word of God which reveals “dirt” to clean! It will help us live in right standing with God.
Trust the Promises of God: Heb.4:14 says, “let us hold fast our confession...” Joshua and Caleb declared the promises of God before the Israelites: “If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us…” “…the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” They trusted the God who promised them! Confessing the promises of God in our lives when we face tough situations, will give us hope that He who promised us is faithful! He will bring us through!
Run to the Throne of Grace: Heb.4:16 says, “…let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace…” Moses sought the Lord on behalf of his people when they sinned against the Lord: “Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness…”
Even when we make mistakes and fall, it’s the Grace and Mercy of God that should make us run back to His presence in true repentance! When you fall, it doesn’t mean staying there wallowing in self-pity but picking yourself up and running to His throne of grace where His mercy forgives and His grace helps you move on!
Dear brother/sister, where are you at today in your Christian walk? If you are just getting by and ignoring the principles of God’s Word, the life of the majority of the Israelites is an example before you. If you are crippled with fear and self-pity, may you find your confidence in the fact that God who has called you is faithful and live a life pleasing to Him!
To Heed: “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1-2)