What should have taken some eleven days of brisk walking turned into forty years of marching in a circle all because whether or not the people should obey God was put up for a vote, and the overwhelming majority said no. They forgot the one inviolable rule: God is not interested in alternate views, differing opinions, or my thoughts on how He could better run the cosmos. Man’s job is not to outvote God. Man’s duty is to obey Him.
It’s not just this generation that is so self-diluted as to think they can dictate terms to God. It’s not just this generation that reeks of self-importance to the point of believing that their feelings trump the will of God or the guidelines He set forth in His Word. People have always thought more of themselves than they ought and given themselves greater importance than they had any right to.
Do you know who I am doesn’t play so well with God because He does, and He’s not impressed. The same goes for insisting that your taxes pay His salary, or in this case, your tithes pay His wages. What great virtues humility and obedience, and how rarely witnessed among God’s children.
The promised land was before them, a river’s width away, and they decided as a collective that this is where their God’s power ceased, this is where He would fail, and this is where He would fall short.
If you’ve ever wondered how long it might take to be given another opportunity to enter your Canaan once you’ve squandered the first, it took the children of Israel forty years. Make of that what you will, but the takeaway from their experience should be to do what God tells you when He tells you and don’t delay in your obedience.
Since we’re on the topic, contrary to some who insist that Canaan is heaven, it isn’t because although Moses was not allowed to enter Canaan, nobody turned him away from the gates of paradise. Even the people claiming there are pet dinosaurs in heaven haven’t proffered that we had to defeat giants to enter in. Canaan is Canaan, heaven is heaven, and the two are not the same thing, nor are they interchangeable. Yes, I know, it is easier just to repeat something you heard once than dig a bit deeper and take the time to rightly divide the Word.
Canaan is that place in your walk where you see what everything has led up to. It’s that place of victory and maturity where the hand of God and His presence are ever present in your life, and you are living the victorious life you once only dreamt of.
Of all the children of Israel who began the journey out of Egypt, only two made it to Canaan. Joshua and Caleb, the two men who forty years earlier had insisted that the land was theirs for the taking. Imagine all the victories, growth, progress, and maturing you could have had had you simply obeyed and done what God told you the first time. Imagine where the children of Israel would have been had they crossed the river and taken the land forty years prior.
It’s difficult to quantify what we lose out on when we are reticent, hesitant, or unwilling to obey the voice of God and do as He commands at the moment. What did that delay cost? What did that hesitancy tally up to? We can guess at it and draw logical conclusions, but it is near to impossible to quantify with any degree of certainty.
For the longest time, the church has been giving the people what they wanted instead of what they needed. There are surveys and questionnaires asking what you would like to see more of in church, what you would like to hear more of, what topics the pastor should tackle, and which ones he should stay away from, and the sheep are flattered and more than willing to give their two cents and then some.
It’s all well and good until the people you’ve been supplying with what they wanted realize that it’s nowhere close to what they needed. Because they didn’t get what they needed, they’re spiritually stunted, powerless in the face of evil, and focused on things contrary to what the Word of God insists we should focus on.
Then, the same individuals you catered to, fawned over and bent over backward to keep happy, will turn on you and lay the blame for their immaturity squarely at your feet. No one will own up to their complicity or their part in the catastrophe that is the modern-day church. No one will acknowledge that it was their pressure on the shepherds to present the gospel in the least challenging, least offensive way possible that created the society of the clanging cymbal we’re living through. That would require humility and self-awareness. That would require owning up to our actions and taking responsibility for our hand in the mockery Christendom has become.
No one is blameless in all this. Not the shepherds, not the sheep, no one. Moses fell short in that he decided to put it up for a vote as to whether the people should obey God or not. The people failed because they chose rebellion over obedience. Both suffered the consequences of their actions to one degree or another, and though millennia have passed, the consequences remain the same.
If we’ve learned anything from this moment in Israel’s history, I hope it’s that you don’t do the work of God based on polling data, and if the people and the will of God conflict, it’s always the people that are in the wrong.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
Posted on 20 November 2023 | 11:38 am
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