God's Glory First
Lord, may Your Word challenge me and stretch my faith, so that I can be better able to trust You.
Read Numbers 14:13-25
 Moses said to the LORD, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them.  And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, LORD, are with these people and that you, LORD, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say,  ‘The LORD was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’  “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared:  ‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’  In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”  The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked.  Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth,  not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times-  not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.  But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.  Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was the concern behind Moses' plea for his people?
I’m not surprised at God’s angry reaction to the people’s latest rebellion (12). I would probably have reacted the same way. And having seen Moses’ humility and love for the people he’s charged with leading, I’m not surprised at his reaction to God’s offer to wipe them out and start over, making Moses the father of an even greater nation (12). To agree to God’s offer would be totally out of character for Moses. Instead, he pleaded with God on behalf of the Israelites (13-19)—a remarkable example of caring leadership in the light of concern for God’s glory (which was his first and highest concern). It’s not unlike Abraham pleading with God for the people of Sodom (Gen. 18:22-33). Moses grasped that forgiveness and mercy are a central aspect of the glory of God (18). Even though he had been on the receiving end of the people’s opposition he still pleaded for God to forgive them. And God’s response was a severe mercy (20-24). None of those who rebelled would ever see the land of promise. That blessing was for those who had trusted: Joshua and Caleb (24).
How does your life reflect a deep concern for the glory of God’s name? How could it do so today?
Lord, You are such a wonderful God! I want my everyday life to help others see and appreciate Your glory.