Theme: THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING IN THE SERVICE OF GOD
Text: “And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression…Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” – Numbers 14:17-19.
Comment: During the course of their journey from Egypt to Canaan, the Israelites succumbed to frequent bouts of faithlessness, provoking God to anger by disobeying His commandments and always complaining. In spite of this, God remained faithful to His promise to take them to the promised land. This is because God loved them. For God, love is an infinite attribute. Moses had a good understanding of this nature of God, referring to it as “the greatness of thy mercy” and he frequently explored, rather than exploited it, whenever he sought to appease God’s righteous anger against the Israelites. – Numbers 14:11, 12.
Rather than stand on the promise of God that He would give the land of Canaan to them, the Israelites chose to believe the discouraging report of a majority of the twelve spies sent to assess the land, while disbelieving the positive, though minority reports of Joshua and Caleb. This lack of faith provoked God, Who decided to punish the people. The text for today is Moses’ plea for God to temper justice with mercy.
One of the core values of a true leader is empathy. Hence Moses pleaded with God to have mercy on them, though they were so stubborn. We should be praying for one another so that we all can enjoy God’s abundant provisions to the fullest. – Numbers 14:15,16, 20; James 5:16.