“But Moses said, “Why then are you transgressing the commandment of the Lord, when it will not succeed?” Numbers 14:41
After the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron and sought for a new leader to lead them back to Egypt, the Lord became angry but Moses prayed to the Lord so that the Lord would not smite the Israelites with pestilence or disinherit them. Moses pleaded with the Lord because he was concerned about the Lord’s reputation among the Egyptians and the nations as being the Lord who could not deliver the Israelites but slaughtered them in the wilderness instead. The Lord pardoned the Israelites; however, the ten spies who gave a bad report about the land of Canaan died by a plague from the Lord. Also, for the forty days the land of Canaan was spied, each day was counted as a year that those who opposed the Lord would wander in the wilderness. They would not enter into Canaan except for Joshua and Caleb and the Israelite descendants who were the ages of nineteen and under. The Israelites were now to set out to the wilderness by way of the Red Sea because the Amalekites and Canaanites lived in the valleys.
Upon hearing this, the Israelites mourned greatly. Although the Lord said that they would not enter the Promised Land, on the next morning, they took it upon themselves to go up to the hill country to the place the Lord promised. Moses warned that their sinful presumptuous actions would not succeed because the Lord was not with them nor was the Ark of the Covenant. However, in their disobedience and presumption, they were struck and beaten by the Amalekites and the Canaanites. The Israelites believed that because they were sorrowful about their sin and that because the Lord previously promised their inheritance of the Promised Land, prior to their repeated disobedience, that they could enter into the Promise Land against the Lord’s command.
The Israelites’ example shows us the dangers of taking the grace of God for granted, as well as the dangers of making assumptions about the grace of God. Although the Lord was merciful enough to spare their lives, it did not mean that He overlooked their sin or thought less of the sins they committed. God does not excuse sin for anyone and He will always justly punish sin. The Israelites experienced defeat and failure because they, once again, rebelled against the Lord.
Do you, like the Israelites, believe that you can make plans and act on plans that are against the will of God and God will allow you to succeed with those plans or that He will somehow excuse what you have done because you are relying on His mercy? Please do not presume upon the grace of God. God is holy and He will punish all disobedience against Him in the manner He chooses. Please do not take His forgiveness for granted or His grace for granted. In His great mercy and love, He will always send you warnings and also provide ways of escape so that you have the choice to not willfully and intentionally sin against Him.
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,