I was particularly struck at our Wednesday evening homegroup by these words within our study passage, Numbers 14v1-25: “If the Lord is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us” (v8). These were the words of Joshua and Caleb to the whole Israelite assembly when they pleaded with them not to rebel and turn back, but instead to trust the Lord and go and enter the Promised Land. Sadly the assembly rejected Joshua and Caleb’s words with the result that the people wandered for 40 years in the wilderness and all those who grumbled who were 20 years old or more subsequently died during that 40 year period.
Joshua and Caleb’s message, however, was effectively that by pleasing the Lord (and the first commandment is to love God with our all) He would lead the people into a ‘pleasurable’ future. So often we seek and love first the pleasures of this world, essentially chasing after the created rather than worshipping the Creator (refer also to Romans 1v18-32). Jesus basically repeated Joshua and Caleb’s message in Matthew 6v33: “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”. All the ‘pleasures’ that we need are graciously given to us by God as a by-product when we seek our first pleasure in Him. And as David testifies in Psalm 16v11: “You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand”.
Peace and Grace