Sunday, February 12, 2012 11:53:47 AM
Message Title: Tempting God
Date: Sunday February 12, 2012
Today's Chapters: Numbers 14-15
Hello My Friend,
The word temptation means the act of tempting; it's the solicitation of the passions, enticements to do evil proceeding from the prospect of pleasure or advantage. How many times have you been tempted to do something when you were forbid to do it? Thanks to our sin nature, temptation comes easy for us, even things that we would never think of doing can entice us when we are told not to do it and if we do not keep our eyes on God we will fall right into them. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” - James 1:12-15.
While we have all had our share of falling into temptation or even being the tempter, the worse person we can ever tempt is God. Now, it is one thing to say to God, “You did it for them, I know You can do it for me.” But it is another thing to say, “I am going to do what I want, I do not believe You can do that to me.” That is tempting God and cause for His wrath, no matter how small the temptation. Right after the twelve spies came back from their expedition to the promise land ten of them discouraged the people and said we cannot enter, it's too dangerous. A big uproar came about to stone Moses and Aaron, but Joshua and Caleb, the other two spies tried to calm them down.
“And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” - Numbers 14:1,2,6-9.
The people did not listen to Joshua and Caleb, or Moses and Arron, God was so angry at their behavior that He was ready to destroy the whole congregation. After Moses pleaded with God and reminded Him of His promise He repented of destroying the people, but not one person that murmured against God, was allowed to enter the promised land, including the ten who caused the uproar in the first place.
“Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised...And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly. And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned. And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper...Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.” -Numbers 14:29-31,39-41,45.
So many people think (unbelievers) that they have the power to go up against God and live to tell about it. These unbelieving Jews pretty much told God, “I am going to the promised land whether you forbid me to or not.” No one can get to heaven on their own, no one, if anyone tries to buy their way or force their way into heaven they will bare their own sins and just like the unbelieving Jews died so will anyone else that tries to go against God. The devil himself has no power over God, even he must obey God and will be cast into hell and the lake of fire with all those who do not believe in Christ. “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” - Revelation 20:10.
After the uproar God had Moses gather everyone together to tell them how every sinner, Jew or stranger (Gentile) could reconcile with God and be saved. “One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD. One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you...And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the LORD, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them. But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.” - Numbers 15:15,16,27-30.
Sins committed ignorantly must have an atonement made for them too, although God is very merciful with the ignorant, their ignorance cannot justify them, we face the same judgment for sins committed ignorantly and willingly. Sadly, we learn the fate of a man tempting God in this manner, “And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day...And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.” - Numbers 15:32,35.
Many people ask me why God was so cruel to have this man stoned for picking up some sticks. The reason he was stoned was because he tempted God, He purposely sinned against Him. Do you think God wanted to cast him into hell? Of course He didn't! He does not want to cast anyone into hell, but He will allow it if they have no faith in Him. God loves us so much that He gave Himself as a sacrifice to save us! Who do you know that would take the blame and punishment for your sins? I do not know anyone who would. Therefore, as Christians we are to, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage...For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh...And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” - Galatians 5:1,13-16,24,25.
If you have personally received Christ as your Savior than you are saved, that means you have been reconciled with God simply by trusting in Jesus Christ. We are going to be tempted, we are going to be tried, but as long as we keep our eyes on God we will not fall into the temptation nor will we become the tempter. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”- 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Today's Psalm: 78:18 - “And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.”
Today's Proverb: 16:27 - “An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.”
Today's Prayer: God, it is Your desire that we stay faithful to Your teachings. Scripture gives many examples of those who knew to do right, but chose to do wrong. The consequences of their wrong actions brought upon death, loss, life-long regret and emotional pain, not only for themselves, but those around them as well. Lord, help us to avoid the traps Satan has set for Your believers by not only reading Your Word, but applying its truth to our lives, and standing firm when the temptation to do wrong is ever before us. Help us keep our eyes on You so that we do not fall into temptation nor bring anyone else into temptation by not following You in the first place. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Enjoy the rest of your day/night.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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