Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
a. In May of 2012 I was doing a study on Joshua 2 & 3, the portion of the book of Joshua that chronicles Israel’s initial entrance into the Promised Land after their wandering 40 years in the wilderness. Most Christians know about Israel’s disobedience and subsequent punishment of not going into the Promised Land and wandering in the desert for 40 years but not many know of a small but profound detail. The forty years began at this point in the Biblical text of Numbers 14:35, the forty years does not include the approximate 1½ years from the night of the Exodus in Exodus 12:37-42 to this point in Numbers 14 which makes what I learned more profound. During the study I learned that the Biblical material of Exodus 12, the night of the Exodus from Egypt to Numbers 13 &14, the sending of the spies and subsequent unbelief and rebellion of Israel comprise a time period of about 1½ years. I also learned that the Biblical material from Numbers 22 to Joshua 3 comprises another time period of about 1½ years, which leaves the 7 chapters of Numbers 15-21 to fit in 38 ½ years. Inside those 7 chapters of Numbers is the rebellion of Korah in Numbers 16, the budding of Aaron’s rod in Numbers 17, signifying again that God chose Aaron and his sons in the Priesthood. In Numbers 20 is the disobedience of Moses and Aaron in getting water out of the rock, for which disobedience neither enter into the Promised Land. In Numbers 21 is the episode of Israel’s complaining and the subsequent result of the death of many from serpent bites and the making of the brass serpent by Moses. Finally Numbers 21:20 records Israel getting to the top of Pisgah immediately before the military campaigns against Sihon and Og. These campaigns occurred approximately 1½ years before Israel went into the Promised Land. Other than those few historic Biblical events there is nothing recorded about those 38½ years. NOTHING! In early January of 2013 me and Missy were listening to a series by John Bevere entitled Honors’ Reward . In that series he made the statement that in Numbers 14 when Israel refused to believe God about going into the Promised Land, they lost their calling. On Sunday morning 1/20/13 as I was putting on the finishing touches of my message I was going to teach at church that morning, John Bevere’s statement combined with the awareness of my previous study concerning the brevity of Scripture concerning that generation finally dawned on me. This group of Israelites was called by God to be the people prophesied by the Hebrew fathers Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses to go into the Promised Land, but because of their unbelief, they were denied by God and sentenced to wander in the desert for forty years. Until everyone in that generation died. They lost their calling. What is even more profound to me is that there is very little written of them and what is written contains nothing good. What a sobering thought. I am reminded of a passage in Exodus concerning Israel’s disobedience at Sinai when Moses was receiving the Law. While Moses was on top of Mt. Sinai Israel was caught up in worshipping a golden calf. The next day Moses returned into the presence of God and the following dialogue was recorded.
1). Exodus 32:31-33 “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.
Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.”
2). Because of the mercy and forgiveness of God, many of that generation surely went to paradise when they died, but many didn’t. Tens of thousands died because of subsequent sins and I don’t believe were right with God when they perished. The point I want to make is this, regardless of whether they died righteous or not they not only lost their initial Divine calling, but their history, their deeds, their actions are not recorded and in a sense blotted out of remembrance, no memorial, no remembrance.
b. Institute Of Creation Research Daily Devotional 11/30/13 “…Israel had witnessed stunning miracles, and a few very public judgments, before the 12 spies were sent out to investigate the Promised Land. For example, the institution of the Passover was a wonderful and fearful event. God showed His hand both in salvation of those who obeyed and in swift judgment on those who refused. The exodus of Israel from Egypt was unique. Not only did God enrich the nation in one day, but demonstrated His awesome power at the parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of the army of Pharaoh. Everyone in Israel observed this. They all experienced God’s power firsthand. On the way to Mount Sinai, the bitter water of Meribah was made sweet for them to drink even after they complained—bitterly. The daily miracle of the manna was given to feed the nation, and water was provided out of the rock for them to drink. God’s grace and mercy were just about everywhere they could imagine. Even after the nation had arrived at the holy mountain and the fearful giving of the Law was accomplished in their sight, Israel rebelled with the celebration of the golden calf. God’s judgment was swift, and thousands died. Apparently, the nation did not learn their lesson even though they had a revival while giving, building, and dedicating the tabernacle for worship. After all of that, Moses sent out the 12 men to “spy out the land.” When the nation refused to trust God, He condemned everyone over 20 to die in the wilderness, except for faithful Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 14:29, 30). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). HMM III