Numbers 14:39 And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly.
40 And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned.
41 And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper.
42 Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies.
43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.
44 But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.
45 Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.
Sin brings consequences. Although the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin (1 John 1:7), some things cannot merely be undone. The children of Israel were supposed to go into the land of promise, but they chose to believe the report of the ten faithless men, rejecting the faithful report of Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 13:26-33; Numbers 14:1-10). It was not until the people heard the looming judgment from God that they changed their minds and determined that they would go into the land of promise. They thought they could merely change their minds and remove all the consequences of sin but soon found out that that was not their prerogative. With or without forgiveness, sin has certain consequences.
• (For children): Esau despised his birthright and could not get it back (Genesis 25:29-34; Hebrews 12:16-17). Disrespectful children could not take their words back (2 Kings 2:23-24). Saul was disobedient and lost his throne and then his life (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).
• (For everyone): What are some sins in the Bible that were forgiven but still brought lasting consequences (i.e., David and Bathsheba, Moses smiting the rock)? What can you learn from these examples?
• What are some things that could happen in your life that would bring lasting consequences? Could you be forgiven for those sins? Why should this not cause you to take sin lightly?
• Ask God to give you wisdom concerning the danger of sin.
• Ask the Lord to help you as you deal with the sins of your past.
SONG: NEARER, STILL NEARER