Let Us Draw Near
09 Friday Jan 2015
09 Friday Jan 2015
13 Wednesday Mar 2013
Posted 2 Corinthians, George Muller, Meditation, Ministry, Numbers, Prayer, Study, Uncategorizedin
Arthur Pierson, Bible, Faith, George Muller, George Muller of Bristol, humility, Meditation, Meekness, Prayer, Study
By many measures, George Muller had extraordinary success in his ministry. Unlike many who crave attention, Muller craved The Lord. At each step, Muller’s method followed the lead of Psalm 121:
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Such a complete dependence is the aim of any true believer of Christ — and yet we rarely show moments — much less a life of such dependence. Pierson reviews Muller’s life and notes 24 separate aspects of Muller’s development and education God used to make the man who could be used of God to run the orphanage. The education — and then work — of Muller illustrate Paul’s commendation in 2 Corinthians 12:
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
God, having saved Muller, then led Muller into a complete dependence upon him (which was the point of God permitting the messenger from Satan buffet Paul. (2 Corinthians 12:7) Muller’s faith did not come in flash but rather it grew over the course of years.
The basic element of Muller’s piety was a complete devotion to the Lord which consisted of study and meditation on the Bible:
8. His satisfaction in the Word. As knowledge of the Scriptures grew, love for the divine oracles increased, until all other books, even of a religious sort, lost their charms in comparison with God’s own text-book, as explained and illumined by the divine Interpreter.
9. His thorough Bible study. Few young men have ever been led to such a systematic search into the treasures of God’s truth. He read the Book of God through and through, fixing its teachings on his mind by meditation and translating them into practice.
20. His habit of secret prayer. He learned so to prize closet communion with God that he came to regard it as his highest duty and privilege. To him nothing could compensate for the lack or loss of that fellowship with God and meditation on His word which are the support of all spiritual life.
Muller’s piety was consciously personal — he relied not upon an abstraction but upon the Triune God. Therefore, communication — reading, meditation and prayer lay at the heart of his life. Such a personal reliance makes sense of Pierson’s observation as to Muller’s preaching:
15. His waiting on God for a message. For every new occasion he asked of Him a word in season; then a mode of treatment, and unction in delivery; and, in godly simplicity and sincerity, with the demonstration of the Spirit, he aimed to reach the hearers.
One does not wait on a word from an abstraction, but rather waits on a friend. Such intense and real friendship, led Muller to a complete dependence upon God:
18. His stress upon voluntary offerings. While he courageously gave up all fixed salary for himself, he taught that all the work of God should be maintained by the freewill gifts of believers, and that pew-rents promote invidious distinctions among saints.
19. His surrender of all earthly possessions. Both himself and his wife literally sold all they had and gave alms, henceforth to live by the day, hoarding no money even against a time of future need, sickness, old age, or any other possible crisis of want.
Which dependence even extended to occasion for service:
10. His freedom from human control. He felt the need of independence of man in order to complete dependence on God, and boldly broke all fetters that hindered his liberty in preaching, in teaching, or in following the heavenly Guide and serving the heavenly Master.
11. His use of opportunity. He felt the value of souls, and he formed habits of approaching others as to matters of salvation, even in public conveyances. By a word of witness, a tract, a humble example, he sought constantly to lead some one to Christ.
Pierson concludes the Muller’s ministry derived from Muller’s seeming weakness. Note the difference between Muller’s true humility — and a false humility which focuses on self. Moses was “very meek” (Numbers 12:3) and he led Israel. Neither humility nor being meek hinge upon self-deprecation but rather in selfless coupled to dependence upon God.
Muller demonstrates humility by seeking to be utterly transparent to the work of God:
To lose sight of this sovereign shaping Hand is to miss one of the main lessons God means to teach us by George Miilleris whole career. He himself saw and felt that he was only an earthen vessel; that God had both chosen and filled him for the work he was to do ; and, while this conviction made him happy in his work, it made him humble, and the older he grew the humbler he became. He felt more and more his own utter insufficiency. It grieved him that human eyes should ever turn away from the Master to the servant, and he perpetually sought to avert their gaze from himself to God alone. “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things—to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Arthur Tappan Pierson. “George Müller of Bristol.”
31 Monday Dec 2012
Posted Numbers, Preaching, Romansin
a living sacrifice, Faith, Numbers, Numbers 20, Preaching, Romans, Romans 12, Water from the Rock, Wilderness
One way to preach Christ from the OT is to analogy or parallel uses in the NT for which one text becomes a commentary or example. Here is one set of parallel texts which, when set in conjunction, help to elucidate the other. Numbers 20 tells the story of the Israelites complaining in the wilderness. It is common to look upon these grumblers and mock them; or to wonder at how anyone could be as fickle as they were.
It is a strange glimpse into the 40 years of wilderness walking. Aside from the miracle of the water from the rock, one may even wonder at the point. There is also the strange ending about The Lord proving himself holy:
2 Now there was no water for the congregation. And they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. 3 And the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had perished when our brothers perished before the LORD! 4 Why have you brought the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle? 5 And why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and there is no water to drink.”
6 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the LORD appeared to them, 7 and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 8 “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” 9 And Moses took the staff from before the LORD, as he commanded him.10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?”
11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.12 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the LORD, and through them he showed himself holy.
When one considers the scene, the Israelites don’t seem all that wretched. They are in the desert, they are thirsty. And, they remember that in Egypt, when lived like other people, they had enough of what they needed. Why is God angry? “Because you did not believe in me.” (v. 12)
Now compare this with Romans 12, a text which Christians are fond of quoting:
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Now bring the two texts together and see what sort points are raised. Could we say that the Israelites were being conformed to this world? Did they think of themselves rightly? Is there a way in which I am conformed in my complaints? How is God holy in all of this? Is God right in the measure of faith he has assigned to me? I am not answering any of these questions. Rather, they are the sort of questions which strike me as I read one passage after the other.
14 Wednesday Nov 2012
Posted Biblical Counseling, Discipleship, Exhortation, Hebrews, Numbersin
Biblical Counseling, Discipleship, Encouragement, Exhortation, great commission, Hebrews, Hebrews 10, Hebrews 3:12-14, Matthew 28:18-20, Numbers, Numbers 15, Romans 15:14, Tassels
In Numbers 15, we read of the Lord’s command concerning tassles:
37 The LORD said to Moses,38 “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner.39 And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after.40 So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God.41 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the LORD your God.”
The principle remains in the NT, yet the tassels have been replaced:
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
Hebrews 3:12-14. It is interesting to note that this command to exhort one-another comes in the context of warning against the hardness of heart of the people in the wilderness (quoting Psalm 95).
It is for this reason that failing to congregation is so dangerous and thus carries such a grave warning:
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
Hebrews 10:23-27. Here is a central aspect of discipleship: Jesus has defined discipleship as teaching others to observe Jesus’ commands (Matthew 28:20, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”). The OT command is to wear tassels to constantly remind oneself of the commands of God. In the New Covenant, the work pictured by the tassels becomes the command for the entire congregation: all of you exhort, encourage, provoke one another:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
Hebrews 10:24. This work is a core work of discipleship — and it is given to the entire congregation. This is the message of the NT, not just of Hebrews:
I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.
By way of application, we must consider be filled with the Scriptures so that we have something to say — discipleship is teaching what Jesus has commanded, not what we have invented (Matt. 28:20). Second, the power of transformation is in the Scripture:
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans 15:4. Third, we must realize that we each have this obligation to exhort one-another, it is not merely the duty of some pastor or overseer. Fourth, we must pray for the wisdom and grace to perform this work. Fifth, we must repent of failure to do so, whether for laziness or a failure of love. Sixth, we must do the work.
04 Sunday Nov 2012
Posted Ecclesiastes, Numbers, Vowsin
Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiastes 5:6, fear of God, fear of the Lord, Fearing the Lord, Mistake, Numbers, Numbers 15:27-31, Unintentional Sin, Vows
Qoheleth raises the matter of the one who makes but does not keep a vow:
Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?
This is interesting, because the law made provisions those made a “mistake”:
27 “If one person sins unintentionally, he shall offer a female goat a year old for a sin offering.28 And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who makes a mistake, when he sins unintentionally, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven.
29 You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the people of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them.30 But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the LORD, and that person shall be cut off from among his people.31 Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.”
How then do we correlate the statements Ecclesiastes and Numbers? One way is to assume that Qoheleth is simply unorthodox on this point (indeed, he a common means to handle Ecclesiastes is to find it to be unorthodox). However, there is another method to correspond the two. While a mistake may be handled by means of a sacrifice for an “unintentional” sin (the same word as “mistake” in Ecclesiastes 5:6), an intentional sin has no such provision.
Note closely that Qoheleth does not deny the provision of the law. Rather, he warns that one who foolishly or flippantly makes a vow should not call it a mistake, “do not say … it was a mistake”.
How then is it not a mistake? It comes not from trying to do one thing and inadvertently doing something different. Rather, it comes from simply being unwilling to recognize God as God:
1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. 2 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. 3 For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.
The fool’s wrong takes place before he even makes the vow — the vow simply caps off a
profound lack of fear.
The fool who lacks a fear of God, who makes rash vows, would also see sacrifice as a means of manipulation. God is a means of gain. The lack of fear constitutes the sin — the rash word prove the lack of fear. Thus, the claim of mistake misses the point — indeed, the claim of mistake proves that the lack of fear.
21 Sunday Oct 2012
Posted Biblical Counseling, Charles Spurgeon, Discipleship, Numbers, Servicein
Biblical Counseling, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Spurgeon, Discipleship, evangelism, Numbers, Numbers 32:23, Preaching, Service, Sluggard
On August 5, 1886, Charles Spurgeon preached the sermon, “The Great Sin of Doing Nothing” (it is in volume 32, sermon no. 1916). In that sermon he speaks of the one attends service on Sunday, who drinks up the good of the Church and yet gives no service in return. However, in considering his rebuke, pay attention to the manner in which he defines the work to be done:
“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.” — Numbers 32:23.
Alas, the tribe of Reuben is not dead, and the tribe of Gad has not passed away! Many who are of the household of faith are equally indisposed to exertion, equally fond of ease. Hear them say, “Thank God we are safe! We have passed from death unto life. We have named the name of Christ; we are washed in his precious blood, and therefore we are secure.” Then, with a strange inconsistency, they permit the evil of the flesh to crave carnal ease, and they cry, “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” Spiritual self-indulgence is a monstrous evil; yet we see it all around. On Sunday these loafers must be well fed. They look out for such sermons as will feed their souls. The thought does not occur to these people that there is something else to be done besides feeding. Soul-saving is pushed into the background. The crowds are perishing at their gates; the multitudes with their sins defile the air; the age is getting worse and worse, and man, by a process of evolution, is evolving a devil; and yet these people want pleasant things preached to them. They eat the fat and drink the sweet, and they crowd to the feast of fat things full of marrow, and of wines on the lees well refined — spiritual festivals are their delight: sermons, conferences, Bible-readings, and so forth, are sought after, but regular service in ordinary ways is neglected. Not a hand’s turn will they do. They gird on no armor, they grasp no sword, they wield no sling, they throw no stone. No, they have gotten their possession; they know they have, and they sit down in carnal security, satisfied to do nothing. They neither work for life, nor from life: they are arrant sluggards, as lazy as they are long. Nowhere are they at home except where they can enjoy themselves, and take things easy. They love their beds, but the Lord’s fields they will neither plough nor reap. This is the sin pointed out in the text — “If ye do not go forth to the battles of the Lord, and contend for the Lord God and for his people, ye do sin against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.” The sin of doing nothing is about the biggest of all sins, for it involves most of the others. The sin of sitting still while your brethren go forth to war breaks both tables of the law, and has in it a huge idolatry of self, which neither allows love to God or man. Horrible idleness! God save us from it!
This sin may be viewed under another aspect, as selfishness and unbrotherliness. Gad and Reuben ask to have their inheritance at once, and to make themselves comfortable in Bashan, on this side Jordan. What about Judah, Levi, Simeon, Benjamin, and all the rest of the tribes? How are they to get their inheritance? They do not care, but it is evident that Bashan is suitable for themselves with their multitude of cattle. Some of them reply, “You see, they must look to themselves, as the proverb hath it, ’Every man for himself, and God for us all.’” Did I not hear some one in the company say, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” I know that gentleman. I heard his voice years ago. His name is Cain, and I have this to say to him: it is true that he is not his brother’s keeper, but he is his brother’s killer. Every man is either the keeper of his brother, or the destroyer of his brother. Soul-murder can be wrought without an act or even a will; it can be, and is constantly, accomplished by neglect. Yonder perishing heathen — does not the Lord enquire, “Who slew all these?” The millions of this city unevangelized — who is guilty of their blood? Are not idle Christians starving the multitude by refusing to hand out the bread of life? Is not this a grievous sin?
31 Tuesday Jul 2012
Posted 1 Clement, 1 Samuel, Ante-Nicene, Biblical Counseling, Church History, Discipleship, Exodus, Greek, Numbersin
1 Clement, 1 Samuel, Ante-Nicene, Biblical Counseling, Church History, David, Discipleship, envy, Exodus, Greek, Greek Text, jealousy, Moses, Numbers, Rebellion, Saul
10 ζῆλος φυγεῖν ἠνάγκασεν Μωϋσῆν ἀπὸ προσώπου Φαραὼ βασιλέως Αἰγύπτου ἐν τῷ ἀκοῦσαι αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὁμοφύλου,. Τίς σε κατέστησεν κριτὴν ἢ δικαστὴν ἐφʼ ἡμῶν; μὴ ἀνελεῖν με σὺ θέλεις, ὅν τρόπον ἀνεῖλες ἐχθὲς τὀν Αἰγύπτιον; 11 διὰ ζῆλος Ἀαρὼν καὶ Μαριὰμ ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς ηὐλίσθησαν. 12 ζῆλος Δαθὰν καὶ Ἀβειρὼν ζῶντας κατήγαγεν εἰς ᾅδου, διὰ τὸ στασιάσαι αὐτοὺς πρὸς τὸν θεράποντα τοῦ Θεοῦ Μωϋσῆν. 13 διὰ ζῆλος Δαυεὶδ φθόνον ἔσχεν οὐ μόνον ὑπὸ τῶν ἀλλοφύλων, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὑπὸ Σαοὺλ [βασιλέως Ἰσραὴλ] ἐδιώχθη
Each of the instance of jealousy noted by Clement involve rebellion against godly authority. Moses was persecuted because a fellow Israelite did not want Moses to be leader: Who appointed you? Answer, God. Moses later faced rebellion from his own immediate family and from the other Israelites. David was envied by the Philistines and persecuted because of the jealousy of Saul.
Again, from a biblical counseling perspective we see that Clement first engages in sustained exposition of the Scripture to show the basis upon which he will later seek their repentance.
He demonstrates great faith in the Scripture’s effectiveness. He starts with no pleas to philosophy or psychology, but rather with the Scripture which he welds like a hammer against their pride. In addition, note that he spends time in Numbers: a book I have rarely seen treated in contemporary biblical counseling literature.
ζῆλος φυγεῖν ἠνάγκασεν Μωϋσῆν: Jealousy compelled Moses to flee. Winer comments on the use of the infinite with the finite that completes the meaning of the finite verb: “If, in such a case, the Inf. has its own subject differnet form that of the principle verb, such subject with all its attributives is put in the accusative (Acc. with Infin.)….” (Winer, 6th ed, Andover, 1874, 321). See Wallace, Accusative Subject of the Infinitive. Compelled is aorist; infinitive, present.
The jealousy in the story as developed does not seem to be Pharaoh’s but the jealousy of the fellow Israelite.
ἀπὸ προσώπου Φαραὼ βασιλέως Αἰγύπτου: From the presence (lit., face) of Pharaoh King of Egypt. The first genitive, face, is dictated by the preposition. Pharaoh is indeclinable. King is genitive of possession: the king’s face (see illustrations, Wallace, 82, Matt. 26:51). The final genitive, of Egypt is the genitive of apposition – genitive of definition. King is a category which is limited by “of Egypt”.
ἐν τῷ ἀκοῦσαι: Wallace: ἐν τῷ+ infinitive: It is translating by + gerund: By hearing. However, the two instances of Wallace involve present tense verbs. Here, Clement uses an aorist infinitive. There is plainly a temporal ordering of events: Moses acts, Pharaoh hears, Pharaoh acts, Moses flees. Therefore, the translation must reflect that ordering: When he heard.
αὐτὸν: about him. The accusative of respect, Wallace, 203-204.
ἀπὸ τοῦ ὁμοφύλου: from the fellow tribesman.
Τίς σε κατέστησεν κριτὴν ἢ δικαστὴν ἐφʼ ἡμῶν;: Who appointed you a ruler or judge over us (ESV translation of Acts 7:27). The two words ruler and judge are near synonyms. The second word refers specifically to a judge in a trial who makes a decision. Epi + genitive: spatial, over: metaphorical here.
μὴ ἀνελεῖν με σὺ θέλεις: do you wish do away with me? The infinitive is complementary to the finite verb, and the object of the infinitive is in the accusative. The μὴ functions as an emphatic particle (otherwise it would read, “do you wish to not kill me”): Do you also, really want to kill me? Do you want to kill me, too? Interesting that the direct verb for kill is not present here. Louw and Nida note the nuance:
to get rid of someone by execution, often with legal or quasi-legal procedures—‘to kill, to execute, killing.’
Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, vol. 1, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 235.
ὅν τρόπον ἀνεῖλες ἐχθὲς τὀν Αἰγύπτιον;In the same manner that you did away with the Egyptian, yesterday? The relative pronoun clarifies the question about murder: Moses is not being accused of potential killing without reason: He had killed the Egyptian.
διὰ ζῆλος Ἀαρὼν καὶ Μαριὰμ ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς ηὐλίσθησαν: Because of jealousy, Aaron and Mariam were housed outside the camp. (Numbers 12:15 records only that Mariam was lodged outside the camp for seven days. The jealousy was of Aaron and Miriam toward Moses. It was based upon racism: Numbers 12:1. See John Piper’s comment in his sermon on marriage and racism, http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/racial-harmony-and-interracial-marriage )
ζῆλος Δαθὰν καὶ Ἀβειρὼν ζῶντας κατήγαγεν εἰς ᾅδου: Jealousy sent Dathan and Abiram alive into Hades. Alive is a present active participle modifying Dathan and Abiram; the participle makes the state of being alive more vivid. See, Numbers 16.
διὰ τὸ στασιάσαι αὐτοὺς πρὸς τὸν θεράποντα τοῦ Θεοῦ Μωϋσῆν: because of the rebellion against Moses, the servant of God. “All infinitives governed by a preposition are articular.” Dia + article + infinitive: cause. Wallace, 610. Pros with the accusative: opposition, against. The structure of the object of the prepositional phrase emphasizes the status of Moses: It was not against just Moses. It was against the servant of God, Moses. Servant here carries the nuance of being a
διὰ ζῆλος Δαυεὶδ φθόνον ἔσχεν οὐ μόνον ὑπὸ τῶν ἀλλοφύλων: Because of jealousy, David was envied, not only by the other tribe/foreigners, i.e., Philistines.
ἀλλὰ καὶ ὑπὸ Σαοὺλ [βασιλέως Ἰσραὴλ] ἐδιώχθη: He was even pursued by Saul, the King of Israel. Hupo + genitive: by, ultimate agency: Saul was the one who set the pursuit into action. See 1 Samuel 18:7-9.
10 Thursday May 2012
Posted 2 Corinthians, Numbers, Obediencein
2 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians 5, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Caleb, Faith, faith, Fearing the Lord, Glory of God, intercession, Joshua, Judgement, Moses, Numbers, Numbers 14, Obedience, Paul, Sight, Sin
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
Verse seven is routinely lifted from context and attached any an every adventure. But Paul puts the phrase into parallel with verse nine: We make it our aim to please him.
He makes sure that the point is plain by mentioning the judgment seat of Christ (10).
A fundamental misapplication of the text would be to locate the object of faith somewhere other than God’s will: for the aim is to please God.
Numbers 14 seems to provide a good illustration of that principle: there is the apparent understanding of the circumstance, the need to trust God to know more, and the context of pleasing God. When reading through the story note that the point of faith and action and punishment and forgiveness is the glory of God (our aim to please him):
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the people of Israel.
6 And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes
7 and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land.
8 If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.
9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.”
10 Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the LORD appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel.
11 And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?
12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”
13 But Moses said to the LORD, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for you brought up this people in your might from among them,
14 and they will tell the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you, O LORD, are in the midst of this people. For you, O LORD, are seen face to face, and your cloud stands over them and you go before them, in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night.
15 Now if you kill this people as one man, then the nations who have heard your fame will say,
16 ‘It is because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to give to them that he has killed them in the wilderness.’
17 And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying,
18 ‘The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’
19 Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now.”
20 Then the LORD said, “I have pardoned, according to your word.
21 But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD,
22 none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice,
23 shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it.
24 But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.