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.
The Lord brought the children of Israel out of their long captivity in Egypt with a mighty hand. God intended to lead them directly into the land of promise; however, the people’s disobedience hindered the outcome. Numbers chapter 13 records the people’s decision to send spies into the land. These twelve spies, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, returned with a report of unbelief. Because of the spies’ evil report, the Israelites feared to enter the land. Their unilateral decision provoked the Lord so much that He told them that they would die in the wilderness (with the exception of the two faithful witnesses). The people were immediately troubled by God’s judgment so they decided to take matters into their own hands. Now they were “ready” to take the land, but the Lord was no longer going to accompany them into battle. This battle, which could have been easily won with the Lord’s help, was lost because of disobedience (or delayed obedience). Proper obedience must be done in the proper time and according to God’s timetable. The right decision made too late is the wrong decision.
· (For children): God told Noah to build an ark because He was sending a flood to destroy the world. Noah obeyed. He tried to get others to come into the ark, but they laughed and mocked him. When God shut the door and the rain started, the people wanted to come in, but by then it was too late.
· (For everyone): True obedience always has time restrictions. Do you do things when you are supposed to do them or do you try to make excuses as to why you cannot do them at the time appointed?
· People often think that obedience has no time schedule, but this is not true in the Lord’s work. A sermon intended by God to meet the people’s needs this Sunday may be too late if delayed because of disobedience until the next Sunday. Tomorrow could be too late to witness to the unsaved if God wants it done today.
· Ask God to make you more aware of the timing of obedience.
· Ask the Lord to help you understand the details of obeying.
Song: His Way With Thee