S: Numbers 14:3-10. 20-24
“Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!” Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle.
God was going to destroy the Israelites, but Moses pleaded for them.
Then the Lord said, “I will pardon them as you have requested. But as surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the Lord’s glory, not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice. They will never even see the land I swore to give their ancestors. None of those who have treated me with contempt will ever see it. But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land.”
O: Caleb and Joshua did the right thing, but the Israelites listened to the other 10 spies and were going to stone them! Sometimes when you obey the Lord, you find people attacking you.
Sometimes, like here, God vindicates you. Sometimes, like many prophets and martyrs, you do get killed, or at least harmed, in this life, so your reward and vindication is only in heaven.
A: Nonetheless, regardless of whether our reward or vindication happens here on earth, or has to wait till heaven, we must be steadfast in Christ when we know what God requires of us.
This is easier said than done, of course, but having other believers around to encourage us helps, by providing positive peer pressure. This is another reason why regular fellowship with other believers is so important.
P: Father in heaven, lead us and guide us, and give us the strength to follow Your leading. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)