Category Archives: His Timing Not Ours

Caleb Was A Righteous Servant, Faithful and Patient

We hear a lot about Joshua as a loyal follower of YHWH, but often Caleb can be overlooked. Caleb stood firm with Joshua in faith when they spied out the land. The Lord recognized the faith of Caleb and Joshua both. He rewarded them by letting them see the promised land while they were still in good health. Take note, however, that their reward was delayed quite a bit, and they still had to endure wandering in the desert due to the sins of their peers. Let us remember that we don’t always get instant gratification and feedback from the Lord when we do well. That does not mean the Lord is not pleased or will not reward us… only that it is sometimes delayed.

Joshua 14

Caleb’s Request

     1Now these are the territories which the sons of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel apportioned to them for an inheritance, 2by the lot of their inheritance, as the LORD commanded through Moses, for the nine tribes and the half-tribe. 3For Moses had given the inheritance of the two tribes and the half-tribe beyond the Jordan; but he did not give an inheritance to the Levites among them. 4For the sons of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim, and they did not give a portion to the Levites in the land, except cities to live in, with their pasture lands for their livestock and for their property. 5Thus the sons of Israel did just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they divided the land.

      6Then the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which the LORD spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea. 7“I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart. 8“Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the LORD my God fully. 9“So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God fully.’ 10“Now behold, the LORD has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. 11“I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. 12“Now then, give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken.”

      13So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. 14Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite until this day, because he followed the LORD God of Israel fully. 15Now the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba; for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. Then the land had rest from war.

Caleb was a righteous servant, both faithful and patient. Let us follow his example.


Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

His Mission, His Way, His Timing… His Glory

It is not supposed to be about us. We are servants of the Lord most high. When we obey the Lord to do His mission, and we do it His way, in His timing, the mission will be accomplished and He will receive glory. Joshua took this approach, even though he faced a seemingly difficult path ahead at the direction of the Lord. He put YHWH first, even literally in leading the people to cross the Jordan. He told the people to consecrate themselves, or make themselves holy and prepared for YHWH’s use. We could probably study how to do this today, but for simplicity I would start with prayer and getting my heart and mind right with serving YHWH for His glory, not my own. Ask for His help in accomplishing this task. In some cases you may consider fasting.

Joshua 3

Israel Crosses the Jordan

      1Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and he and all the sons of Israel set out from Shittim and came to the Jordan, and they lodged there before they crossed. 2At the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp; 3and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. 4“However, there shall be between you and it a distance of about 2,000 cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.”

      5Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” 6And Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over ahead of the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people.

      7Now the LORD said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you. 8“You shall, moreover, command the priests who are carrying the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” 9Then Joshua said to the sons of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God.” 10Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will assuredly dispossess from before you the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Hivite, the Perizzite, the Girgashite, the Amorite, and the Jebusite. 11“Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over ahead of you into the Jordan. 12“Now then, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe. 13“It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap.”

      14So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, 15and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), 16the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. 17And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.

Ask yourself, are you really pursuing His mission for you? or your own? Do you focus on your own mission instead of His? or your way or your timing instead of His? Are you seeking His glory? or your own?

I have found that often what He calls me to do is not what I think I should do. Often what He calls me to do may appear more humble than what I envision, but more and more I learn to trust Him. For others, perhaps, like Joshua, Moses and Gideon, He may call them to do things far broader and more ambitious than they would envision for themselves. Let us put our trust in YHWH either way and be content or even joyful with His mission for us.


Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Will You Trust YHWH And Joyfully Accept What He Chooses For You?

As we read Exodus and Deuteronomy, we see a focus on the people of Israel, who are the chosen people of YHWH. It is easy to think the entire focus of our Creator is only on them, but that is not true. In Deuteronomy 2, we see this emphasized. As YHWH was leading His people to the land He would give them, He told them multiple times He would not give them other land they had to pass through first. He had given that to others and deliberately. This is so easy to overlook, but I believe YHWH wants us to remember this principle in our daily lives as well.

From His perspective… Yes I am your God. Yes I have plans for you. If you will follow me, I will guide you. However, I have plans for others that go beyond you. I will not always explain them to you. You have to trust me as I direct you to what I want to give you. Do not just chase after the first opportunity that comes before you. Do not pursue or covet the things I have given for others, but focus on what I want to give you. I know best and I love you.

Deuteronomy 2

Wanderings in the Wilderness

      1“Then we turned and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea, as the LORD spoke to me, and circled Mount Seir for many days. 2“And the LORD spoke to me, saying, 3‘You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north, 4and command the people, saying, “You will pass through the territory of your brothers the sons of Esau who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. So be very careful; 5do not provoke them, for I will not give you any of their land, even as little as a footstep because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession. 6“You shall buy food from them with money so that you may eat, and you shall also purchase water from them with money so that you may drink. 7“For the LORD your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”’

      8“So we passed beyond our brothers the sons of Esau, who live in Seir, away from the Arabah road, away from Elath and from Ezion-geber. And we turned and passed through by the way of the wilderness of Moab. 9“Then the LORD said to me, ‘Do not harass Moab, nor provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to the sons of Lot as a possession.’ 10(The Emim lived there formerly, a people as great, numerous, and tall as the Anakim. 11Like the Anakim, they are also regarded as Rephaim, but the Moabites call them Emim. 12The Horites formerly lived in Seir, but the sons of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did to the land of their possession which the LORD gave to them.) 13‘Now arise and cross over the brook Zered yourselves.’ So we crossed over the brook Zered. 14“Now the time that it took for us to come from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war perished from within the camp, as the LORD had sworn to them. 15“Moreover the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from within the camp until they all perished.

      16“So it came about when all the men of war had finally perished from among the people, 17that the LORD spoke to me, saying, 18‘Today you shall cross over Ar, the border of Moab. 19‘When you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass them nor provoke them, for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot as a possession.’ 20(It is also regarded as the land of the Rephaim, for Rephaim formerly lived in it, but the Ammonites call them Zamzummin, 21a people as great, numerous, and tall as the Anakim, but the LORD destroyed them before them. And they dispossessed them and settled in their place, 22just as He did for the sons of Esau, who live in Seir, when He destroyed the Horites from before them; they dispossessed them and settled in their place even to this day. 23And the Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim who came from Caphtor, destroyed them and lived in their place.) 24‘Arise, set out, and pass through the valley of Arnon. Look! I have given Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land into your hand; begin to take possession and contend with him in battle. 25‘This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under the heavens, who, when they hear the report of you, will tremble and be in anguish because of you.’

      26“So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, 27‘Let me pass through your land, I will travel only on the highway; I will not turn aside to the right or to the left. 28‘You will sell me food for money so that I may eat, and give me water for money so that I may drink, only let me pass through on foot, 29just as the sons of Esau who live in Seir and the Moabites who live in Ar did for me, until I cross over the Jordan into the land which the LORD our God is giving to us.’ 30“But Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass through his land; for the LORD your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he is today. 31“The LORD said to me, ‘See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to occupy, that you may possess his land.’

      32“Then Sihon with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz. 33“The LORD our God delivered him over to us, and we defeated him with his sons and all his people. 34“So we captured all his cities at that time and utterly destroyed the men, women and children of every city. We left no survivor. 35“We took only the animals as our booty and the spoil of the cities which we had captured. 36“From Aroer which is on the edge of the valley of Arnon and from the city which is in the valley, even to Gilead, there was no city that was too high for us; the LORD our God delivered all over to us. 37“Only you did not go near to the land of the sons of Ammon, all along the river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, and wherever the LORD our God had commanded us.

Will you trust YHWH and follow Him? Will you accept joyfully what He has chosen for you? Or will you chase and covet what He has chosen for others?


Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Follow God’s Plan Rather Than Your Own

When God is on the move, He commands attention even from those who reject Him and His messengers. They have stubbornly decided to reject Him, but they can’t ignore what He is doing either. It perplexes them, confuses them.  Such was the case with Herod observing the ministry of the twelve.

Luke 9:1-11

Ministry of the Twelve

     1And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. 2And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. 3And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. 4“Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. 5“And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

      7Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was happening; and he was greatly perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, 8and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen again. 9Herod said, “I myself had John beheaded; but who is this man about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see Him.

Perhaps one could wonder… with such power for miracles to get the attention and interest of one like Herod,  why didn’t the disciples go to Herod to convince Him of Christ as Messiah. Influencing someone important such as Herod would do much for the cause of Christ.

The simple answer is that we are to listen to and obey the Lord’s instructions. Jesus sent the disciples into the various towns, not to Herod. We are to humbly and respectfully obey and trust the Lord to manage the strategy of how He wants to use our service to influence others. Let us not try to make our own plans for how we will serve God and then ask Him to bless them. Rather, let us listen closely to what He tells us to do and then obey. If we are going about doing His will, He will give us the power to accomplish what He asks.

There are times, such as with John the Baptist and Paul and Old Testament prophets, where they were sent to the kings and leaders for teaching, preaching, council and rebuke. There are other times when our Lord sends us directly to the people. Listen for and accept the assignment He gives you. Don’t try to pick the assignment and then ask Him to bless it.

Trust in the Lord. His ways are above our ways. He has a masterful and flawless plan. Only He can see how it flows in its entirety from beginning to end in all the glorious detail that He leads us through.


Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Submit To And Accept The Lord’s Will

Those of us who know the Lord, understand that we can accomplish nothing except what He allows. He is sovereign over everything. When we truly submit to be His servant, we come to know that we can only do what He asks and we should/must do what He wants. We certainly can not use His power to do anything against His will.

Balak, who does not know the Lord, is used to getting His way. He can’t seem to understand or accept that Balaam is subject to reflect only the Lord’s will. Each time Balaam blesses Israel instead of cursing it, Balaak takes Him to another place to ask again for Balaam to curse Israel.

Balaam had is own round of pushing back on the Lord’s instruction in Numbers 22 and learned his lesson.The Lord told Him not to go to Balak and though he obeyed… he came back again to ask if he could go to Balak when he was offered more money. Jehovah got Balaam’s attention with a talking donkey and an angel who came near to killing Balaam to make a point of his need to submit to God’s will.  (Click through to a related article to read more on this background.)

Let us learn a lesson from Balaam and Balak. Let us submit to and accept the Lord’s will for us. Choose to obey and do not struggle against Him.   If He tells you to do (or stop doing) something, obey. Do not keep asking the same question over and over and over as if to manipulate the Lord into a different answer, one you prefer.  Yes it is ok to ask for validation with a humble and submissive heart… but this is different than rejecting what the Lord has clearly said and asking again.

Numbers 23

The Prophecies of Balaam

     1Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me here.” 2Balak did just as Balaam had spoken, and Balak and Balaam offered up a bull and a ram on each altar. 3Then Balaam said to Balak, “Stand beside your burnt offering, and I will go; perhaps the LORD will come to meet me, and whatever He shows me I will tell you.” So he went to a bare hill.

      4Now God met Balaam, and he said to Him, “I have set up the seven altars, and I have offered up a bull and a ram on each altar.” 5Then the LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and you shall speak thus.” 6So he returned to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, he and all the leaders of Moab.

7He took up his discourse and said,
“From Aram Balak has brought me,
Moab’s king from the mountains of the East,
‘Come curse Jacob for me,
And come, denounce Israel!’

      8“How shall I curse whom God has not cursed?
And how can I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced?

      9“As I see him from the top of the rocks,
And I look at him from the hills;
Behold, a people who dwells apart,
And will not be reckoned among the nations.

      10“Who can count the dust of Jacob,
Or number the fourth part of Israel?
Let me die the death of the upright,
And let my end be like his!”

      11Then Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have actually blessed them!” 12He replied, “Must I not be careful to speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?”

      13Then Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place from where you may see them, although you will only see the extreme end of them and will not see all of them; and curse them for me from there.” 14So he took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15And he said to Balak, “Stand here beside your burnt offering while I myself meet the LORD over there.” 16Then the LORD met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.” 17He came to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the leaders of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the LORD spoken?”

18Then he took up his discourse and said,
“Arise, O Balak, and hear;
Give ear to me, O son of Zippor!

      19“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

      20“Behold, I have received a command to bless;
When He has blessed, then I cannot revoke it.

      21“He has not observed misfortune in Jacob;
Nor has He seen trouble in Israel;
The LORD his God is with him,
And the shout of a king is among them.

      22“God brings them out of Egypt,
He is for them like the horns of the wild ox.

      23“For there is no omen against Jacob,
Nor is there any divination against Israel;
At the proper time it shall be said to Jacob
And to Israel, what God has done!

      24“Behold, a people rises like a lioness,
And as a lion it lifts itself;
It will not lie down until it devours the prey,
And drinks the blood of the slain.”

      25Then Balak said to Balaam, “Do not curse them at all nor bless them at all!” 26But Balaam replied to Balak, “Did I not tell you, ‘Whatever the LORD speaks, that I must do’?”

      27Then Balak said to Balaam, “Please come, I will take you to another place; perhaps it will be agreeable with God that you curse them for me from there.” 28So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor which overlooks the wasteland. 29Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me here.” 30Balak did just as Balaam had said, and offered up a bull and a ram on each altar.

In what areas of your life are you wrestling with what the Lord has clearly instructed? Ask His help for you to submit to Him and accept His will and stop fighting against it to get your own way. Choose to submit to Him, obeying His instruction rather than your own plans.


Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Don’t Miss The Miracles Around You As God Reveals Himself To You

Sometimes it is those who are most entrenched in man’s practice of religion that miss God Himself as He comes before them. He reveals Himself in a way that is different than they expect and they can not accept it. Such an example is captured in Luke 5, where Jesus heals a paralytic. Those who just observe the miracle with no preconception for how God should work are amazed and immediately recognize the work of the Lord. Others, however, who are “learned” men such as teachers and Pharisees, can not accept it. They completely overlook the obvious miracle in front of them as they get tangled up in the words Jesus spoke. They dismiss that a paralytic was healed as they focus on their preconceived bias that Jesus could not possibly be the Son of God. They get indignant about Jesus’ choice of words. They clearly understood that He was claiming that He was the Son of God.

Were they not waiting for a Messiah? Of course they were, or at least according to the scriptures they studied they should be looking for one. They just could not accept that He was right in front of them.

Luke 5:17-26

   17One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing. 18And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him. 19But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. 20Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” 21The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” 22But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? 23“Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24“But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,”—He said to the paralytic—“I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” 25Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. 26They were all struck with astonishment and began glorifying God; and they were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

Let us challenge ourselves and pray for the Spirit to help us not miss the miracles God does around us because of preconceived biases we hold about how, when, and to whom He should reveal Himself. Let us be open to recognize when He is revealing Himself to us. It may well be in a way or at a time or place we do not expect.

Praise the Lord that He chooses to reveal Himself to us at all and that with the Spirit we may receive Him fully!


Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

God’s Eternity and Man’s Brief Life Span

It is good for us to focus on the Lord, His eternal nature. He is far above even our ability to fully understand Him. We are transitory… each of us with a brief life in which even that which we create will fade in short time. Only in the Lord is there eternity and I choose to spend eternity with Him.

This prayer does well to remind us that our time is brief and all that we think is important to “accomplish” is not going to last. Our relationship with the Lord, and any we can help lead to Him… those things are eternal.

With that in mind, is the focus of your life on the right things? Are you placing your value in career and business? hobbies? or serving the Lord and leading and supporting others to submit to and serve  Him as Lord?

Psalm 90


God’s Eternity and Man’s Transitoriness.

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

     1Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.

      2Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

      3You turn man back into dust
And say, “Return, O children of men.”

      4For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night.

      5You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep;
In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.

      6In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew;
Toward evening it fades and withers away.

      7For we have been consumed by Your anger
And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.

      8You have placed our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.

      9For all our days have declined in Your fury;
We have finished our years like a sigh.

      10As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.

      11Who understands the power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?

      12So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

      13Do return, O LORD; how long will it be?
And be sorry for Your servants.

      14O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

      15Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have seen evil.

      16Let Your work appear to Your servants
And Your majesty to their children.

      17Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.


Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Rebellion Against Jehovah Has Harsh Consequences

To summarize the beginning 38 verses of Numbers 14… God had led His people to the promised land. The people were intimidated by the powerful people inhabiting the land and most of them were afraid of following God’s instruction to take it. They even turned to stone Moses. God was not pleased and was ready to destroy them. Moses interceded on their behalf and God did not destroy them immediately. He did, however, lay down a firm punishment for their rebellion and lack of faith. They were “sentenced” to wait another 40 years in the wilderness before taking the promised land and all but those few who were faithful were to die in the wilderness during these 40 years and not see the promised land. (Read the whole chapter by clicking the link to Numbers 14 below.)

What follows in verse 39-45 is important and relevant for us even today. God told the Israelites He would give them victory. They rebelled. He punished them. Then they felt regret (likely over the punishment rather than the rebellion) and went to go do what He commanded earlier. He was not with them and they were defeated. In effect they actually rebelled again, refusing to accept and honor His punishment on them. They still missed the point about obeying and trusting Him and repenting before Him rather than just trying to make it happen on their own power.

Numbers 14:39-45

Israel Repulsed

     39When Moses spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, the people mourned greatly. 40In the morning, however, they rose up early and went up to the ridge of the hill country, saying, “Here we are; we have indeed sinned, but we will go up to the place which the LORD has promised.” 41But Moses said, “Why then are you transgressing the commandment of the LORD, when it will not succeed? 42“Do not go up, or you will be struck down before your enemies, for the LORD is not among you. 43“For the Amalekites and the Canaanites will be there in front of you, and you will fall by the sword, inasmuch as you have turned back from following the LORD. And the LORD will not be with you.” 44But they went up heedlessly to the ridge of the hill country; neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses left the camp. 45Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down, and struck them and beat them down as far as Hormah.

Let us listen carefully and obey when Jehovah calls us to action, no matter how intimidating the battle or situation. Pray His Spirit would encourage us and guide us. If you need His encouragement or more validation, ask for it rather than just turn away in rebellion. If you make the mistake of failing to trust Him, listen and accept the rebuke and repent, humbly asking forgiveness. Do not simply rebel against Him again and charge in to action as if your first rebellion never happened.


Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

He Who Began a Good Work Will Perfect It

For those who are called by God to be reborn in Christ, and who take on such pursuit with humility, we can take great comfort that our Father will complete in us what He begins if we are obedient and submitted vessels for His use. We need not fear that He will start a work in us and then leave us unfinished. We may need to be patient, however, as His timing is not always the same as our timing… it usually is not the same.

Philippians 1:6

6For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:12-13

  12So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

It is not so simple as just a prayer and one time submission to Christ. Jehovah transforms us over time. It is more of a crock pot than a microwave. We begin a journey and must continue in submission and obedience to His prompting. He will help us to work out our salvation and transformation from the life of sin and self to submission to Him as Lord. He will not abandon us halfway in our journey. All we must do is see to it that we remain obedient and wholeheartedly seeking Him. This also means that we are not idle waiting for Him to transform us, but rather we are seeking Him in prayer and Bible study. We are taking what we learn and changing our lives to reflect His instruction.


Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Patience And Obedience Are Characteristics of Faith

Typically we are in more of a hurry than is our Lord. He is patient where we are not. He is eternal where we have finite lifespans and attention spans. He sees the big picture where we can be very focused on self and how things affect us.

As I read Numbers 10, I am reminded of these truths. As the people left Egypt in search of the promised land, I am sure they did not imagine how long the journey would be. They caused much of it themselves, by refusing to go into the land when commanded, but even before that we can see that God had a plan and it was not rushed.

We read in verse 11 that they set out from Sinai in the second year. They spent some time there. Likely God was preparing them to transition from the mindset of slaves in Egypt to a free people following Jehovah. This is no small transition for a people to make.

We can trust God in our personal lives as well that He has a purpose when He calls for us to wait and He has a plan when He calls for us to move. This may be geographic relocation or other actions He calls us to do. Let us learn to trust Him in waiting. While we wait, let us prepare and seek Him. Let us focus our lives toward Him. Thus we will be ready when He calls for us to move out. Also as with Sinai, He will come with us when He sends us forth. When we go, let us go in obedience not only to “what” He asked us to do but also to “how” He instructed us to do it.

Numbers 10:10-36

The Tribes Leave Sinai

     11Now in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth of the month, the cloud was lifted from over the tabernacle of the testimony; 12and the sons of Israel set out on their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai. Then the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran. 13So they moved out for the first time according to the commandment of the LORD through Moses. 14The standard of the camp of the sons of Judah, according to their armies, set out first, with Nahshon the son of Amminadab, over its army, 15and Nethanel the son of Zuar, over the tribal army of the sons of Issachar; 16and Eliab the son of Helon over the tribal army of the sons of Zebulun.

      17Then the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, who were carrying the tabernacle, set out. 18Next the standard of the camp of Reuben, according to their armies, set out with Elizur the son of Shedeur, over its army, 19and Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai over the tribal army of the sons of Simeon, 20and Eliasaph the son of Deuel was over the tribal army of the sons of Gad.

      21Then the Kohathites set out, carrying the holy objects; and the tabernacle was set up before their arrival. 22Next the standard of the camp of the sons of Ephraim, according to their armies, was set out, with Elishama the son of Ammihud over its army, 23and Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur over the tribal army of the sons of Manasseh; 24and Abidan the son of Gideoni over the tribal army of the sons of Benjamin.

      25Then the standard of the camp of the sons of Dan, according to their armies, which formed the rear guard for all the camps, set out, with Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai over its army, 26and Pagiel the son of Ochran over the tribal army of the sons of Asher; 27and Ahira the son of Enan over the tribal army of the sons of Naphtali. 28This was the order of march of the sons of Israel by their armies as they set out.

      29Then Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out to the place of which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you’; come with us and we will do you good, for the LORD has promised good concerning Israel.” 30But he said to him, “I will not come, but rather will go to my own land and relatives.” 31Then he said, “Please do not leave us, inasmuch as you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will be as eyes for us. 32“So it will be, if you go with us, that whatever good the LORD does for us, we will do for you.”

      33Thus they set out from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them. 34The cloud of the LORD was over them by day when they set out from the camp.

      35Then it came about when the ark set out that Moses said,
“Rise up, O LORD!
And let Your enemies be scattered,
And let those who hate You flee before You.”

36When it came to rest, he said,
“Return, O LORD,
To the myriad thousands of Israel.”

This message rings very true for me. I feel as if the Lord has called me for something and is preparing me, but He has yet to send me forth. I am in the waiting and preparing phase. It is so important for me to stay focused on trusting His plans for me and His timing. For me sometimes the timing is the tough part. I seem to expect a microwave when God cooks more typically in a crock pot.

May the Lord help me with my patience and obedience in preparing while I wait. May He do the same for whatever He calls you to do as well.


Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.