When Israel realized they made a mistake, their answer was to obey by going in a different wrong direction. Sometimes, even our obedience comes from a heart of self-centredness instead of a heart of surrender to God. Stop trying to control everything…
36 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.
This is a classic case of yo-yo obedience. The people of Israel were swayed by bad reports of ten of the twelve men who went to scope out the land. Those men were ruled by a lack of faith and an abundance of fear and made Israel out to be grasshoppers in their own eyes. And so Israel was afraid to take the land.
When God dealt with the fear and faithlessness of those men, who had led the whole nation astray, God’s discipline sent Israel into a tail-spin. When the men died of a plague, suddenly Israel saw the power and presence of God and were afraid for their own lives. They had realized their own sin, and they were determined to make it right.
Israel pulled up their big boy pants and went out ready for battle. And sometimes, knee-jerk obedience to fix disobedience isn’t obedience at all. The Lord desires for us to live in his hand, in which he leads us and establishes our direction based on his will for us. Watch what happens…
Israel was not in the hand of God. Israel was continuing to do their own thing their own way based on their self-centredness. They were so convinced that going to battle was the answer that they went even though God told them he was not with them. That didn’t matter because they weren’t listening. Don’t mess up my plans with the pesky facts…
Sometimes, even our obedience comes from a heart of self-centredness instead of a heart of surrender to God. Stop trying to control everything…
God wants us in his hand.
God wants us trusting in his leading.
God wants us to stop trying to control everything.
Where are you disobeying and obeying out of self-centredness? Are you willing to surrender it all to the Lord today?