The Cost of Disobedience

For the Lord had told those Israelites they would surely die in the wilderness, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. (Numbers 26:65).

It’s easy to skip over the first chapter of the book of Numbers because it just counts the number of Israelites eligible for miltary service. But it takes on new meaning when you consider Numbers chapter 26, which is a second counting of the military eligible Israelites 38 years later. Only two people from the first counting were still alive and included in the second counting.

The story here is one of the tragic consequences of disobedience to God. The first counting described in Numbers 1 took place just a little over a year after the Israelites had been miraculously freed from slavery in Egypt. Those included in this counting had experienced first-hand the mighty deliverance of God. They’d heard with their own ears the admonition of Moses to trust in the Lord to fight for them against the much more powerful Egyptian army: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14).

It was time to take possession of The Promised Land. Yet, these same people who had experienced God’s miraculous deliverance and provision multiple times, were quick to doubt he could or would do it again, despite His promise to give them the land. Only Caleb and Joshua obeyed, “and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 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. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Numbers 14:7-9)

But the people wouldn’t listen and because of their disobedience none of them was left for the second counting, except for Caleb and Joshua. The rest all died in the desert.

Are you living by faith or in fear?

Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.

Dan Kinnaman

Pastor, Maple Root Baptist Church