40 Years

By Bobby Blakey on February 9, 2020

Numbers 13-14

AUDIO

40 Years

By Bobby Blakey on February 9, 2020

Numbers 13-14

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:02] I invite you to open the Bible and turn with me to Numbers 13.

[00:00:09] It's on page one hundred and twenty one. If you got one of our Bibles, 12 men were sent to spy on Cain and 10 were bad and two were good.

[00:00:21] That's the story we're looking at. This is a story that is held up as an example, meant to be known by everyone from generation to generation, even to teach it to our children. And so has anybody been reading the book A Numbers this last week? Anybody out there? Few of you guys, I want to invite all of you to read through the Bible with us and experience a revival for your soul. We're going through numbers right now. And we just read chapters one through 10 last week. And if you just read chapters one through 10 numbers, feels like it's moving in a good direction. God's got his people ready to go and claim the promised land. He's got them all positioned in camp, ready to march. He even said for them to make these trumpets. And if they blow the trumpet, he'll hear them, remember them, and come and save them from their enemies, promising them victory. And so it seems like everything's going well. But if you read numbers 11 to 20 this week, it's going to take such a dark turn.

[00:01:24] Reading through the book of numbers is like watching a train fly off the track and derail and crash. And there is a fire and destruction. A book of numbers goes about as bad as it can possibly go. If you want to see an epic story of victory and going into the promised land. You're going to have to go read the Book of Joshua because numbers is not a he gets them ready to go to war. But as we're going to see today, they don't want to go to war. They don't want to claim the promised land. And it starts right here with these spies in numbers. Chapter 13, verse one.

[00:02:02] Let's really learn from this example together right now. It says, The Lord spoke to Moses saying send men to spy out the land of Caen in which I am giving to the people of Israel. So that's the line we want to underline right there, that God says he is giving them this land. It is a promise to them. This land of Kanan and there's different nations that live there, but there are wicked nations that the land wants to vomit out of it. And so in judgment, God's gonna use Israel to drive these nations out of the land. And then he's going to give the land to his people. This promise goes all the way back to Abraham in Genesis twelve. He's been re saying it to every generation. The whole book of numbers is building up to this. And so it's like, OK, I'm giving you the land. Let's send 12 men in there to spy it out. One man from each of the 12 tribes and two of them are going to become really important. Verse six talks about from the tribe of Judah Caleb, the son of Jeff Hoonah. He's gonna be a hero for us. And then verse 16, it says, These were the names of the men who Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Ho Shaya the son of non Joshua. So we learn here that Joshua got his name from Moses renaming him Ho Ho Shaya. And the Hebrew means salvation. But Joshua means the Lord is salvation. And so Moses renamed Sam. So everyone will know where salvation comes from is from the Lord. And so, Joshua, Caleb, 10 others are sent to spy out the promised land and keep your finger here in numbers. 13 will come back, but go to Deuteronomy one just a few pages over to the right. Deuteronomy is the last book of the law. And it's really Moses commentary on the law, reviewing the history, reviewing the commands. Deuteronomy 121. Turn there with me. It's page 145. If you got one of our books and I just want you to see how clear it was stated throughout this scripture that God had already promised this land that he was going to give it to the people.

[00:04:23] Look at verse 21, see the Lord, your God has set the land before you go up, take possession as the Lord. The God of your fathers has told you. Do not fear or be dismayed. He's all right. Look at the land. It's right there. He's already given to you. Go up, claim the land. It's yours. God gave it to you.

[00:04:47] And then we see this sense of hesitation from the people here in verse twenty two. Moses says that all of you referring to the people came near me and said.

[00:05:01] Send men before us that they may explore the land for us and bring us word again of the way by which we must go up and the cities into which we shall come.

[00:05:12] And so it's actually the people's idea to send out the 12 spies, like, you know, the message to them was, it's yours. Go and get it. And their first step was like, well, let's kind of scout it out before we just go in there. And that was fine to send the spies. God tells Moses to do it here in numbers, but you're starting to get a sense of hesitation from the people rather than just going get it. Well, let's send these other guys first. So if you go back to numbers 13, you'll see here in verse twenty five, numbers 13. Twenty five at the end of forty days. They returned from spying out the land and they give the report while the fruit is amazing in this place. This is where this nation is. This is where this nation is. These people are over here. And so they start to give the scouting report.

[00:06:03] And then here comes Caleb, verse 30. But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome who's coming with me, says Caleb. Let's go right now. Let's seize the day. Hey, who's comin with me to the Promised Land, right?

[00:06:24] And then this is where it takes the turn verse thirty one. Then the man who had gone up with him said We are not able to go up against the people. Caleb is like we're able. Let's go. Here comes a different report. We are not able. No, they are stronger than we are. So they brought these are 10 of the spies here they brought to the people of Israel. A bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying the land through which we have gone to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anik, who come from the Nephilim, and we seem to ourselves like grasshoppers. And so we seemed to them what we have here is the art of exaggeration, everybody. We can't go into that land. It'll chew us up and spit A-s. Everyone there is tall. They're all giants.

[00:07:27] There are no short people. I mean, that's what they're saying right here, right? Everybody's a giant.

[00:07:33] We're like grasshoppers. They're just gonna step on us like bugs.

[00:07:39] Right. I mean, this is this is an embellishment here, to say the least. Like, later on, if you keep reading through the book of numbers later on, it's going to give us the perspective of the people in kanon. The people in kanon are terrified of the Israelites. There's like they counted them. There's over six hundred thousand men, six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty men age 20 or older. The people in kanon, they know God led them out of Egypt through the Red Sea. They know there's a lot of the Israelites. They're terrified the Israelites are comin. And now we've got ten spies spinning a story about how terrifying these people are.

[00:08:21] And you can see it spreads.

[00:08:22] Fear and panic just spread among the people of Israel. Chapter 14, verse one. Then all the congregation raise the loud cry. And the people wept that night. It's like, let's all have a pity party because we have to go fight in the promised land. That's what's going on here. Like, whoa, no. Now we're gonna go just get whipped up by these giants and we're gonna be a little grasshoppers. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation said to them, listen to how they complain. Pay attention to what they say. Would that we had died in the land of Egypt or would that we had died in this wilderness? I wish we were already dead. Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prayer. Kids are going to be taken advantage of by these people.

[00:09:18] Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt? And they said to one another. Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.

[00:09:28] I mean, this is outright rebellion now.

[00:09:31] Just a little bit of fear spread among the people by these 10 spies, and it seizes the hearts of the nation of people and they're ready for complete like mutiny. Forget Moses, forget your way.

[00:09:44] We'll go back to Pharaoh. And Moses and Aaron, verse five, fell on their faces. I mean, these guys, they just fall to the ground before all the assembly of the congregation of people of Israel. They can't even believe what they're hearing, what these people are saying. I mean, literally, we just went from the land is there. Go seize it, too. We should go back to Egypt.

[00:10:09] And then here's Joshua and Kayla and Joshua, the son of nine, and Kalyvas, son of Jeff Hoonah, who were among those who had spied out the land, when they hear what everybody's saying. They tear their clothes in sadness and there they like gather everybody together. They're like, no, this is in it. You guys got to listen to us.

[00:10:26] They said in verse seven to all the congregation of the people of Israel, the land which we have passed through despite our is an exceedingly good land. And let's bring it back to reality. Verse eight.

[00:10:39] If the Lord delights in us, if your way is with us, he will bring us into this land. Hey, who's bigger? These people that you're saying are giants or God? That's what these guys are saying. If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and he will give it to us. It's a land that flows with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord and do not fear the people of the land, for they are bred for us. Don't you see what they're saying? They're saying, look, God's provided this for us, just like our daily bread. Just like the manna that's been falling from heaven to feed us. God has said, this is your land. I'm giving it to you. It's our provision, everybody.

[00:11:27] And then they say even if they look mighty or strong, even if the walls of their cities are high, their protection is removed from them, they say they're in verse nine and the Lord is with us to not fear them.

[00:11:42] Here's Joshua and Caleb saying, if God is for us, who can stand against us? Can I get any man from anybody on that? That's what we're supposed to say as the people of God. Finally, two guys standing up saying, no, you guys are missing the whole point. But it's not about us versus them. God's with us.

[00:12:02] And here's the response of the people of Israel, verse 10, that all the congregation said to stone them with stones.

[00:12:12] Now they're going to kill Joshua and Caleb for saying the right thing, that God is with them. And at that moment, the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel. Let me just tell you that you need to learn that God is not OK with this at all. God tells you to do something. He promises you something. And you rebel and go the other way. Let me just tell you right now. God is not okay with the. The Lord said to Moses here in verse eleven, How long will this people despise me?

[00:12:43] How long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among the.

[00:12:49] And here, God now is ready to wipe out his people.

[00:12:53] And so Moses has to come and he asked to intercede on behalf of the people and he asked to pray to God and beg God not to judge the people right then in there, but to forgive them for this sin. And this should take us back. If you've been reading through the law, we already saw an exodus, 32 and 33 and 34 when they worship the golden calf. And God was like, I'm done with these people.

[00:13:17] I'm not going with them to the land. And Moses was like, no, they're your people. And if you don't go with us, why would we even go? You gotta go with us. And God forgave them. And here he was going with them. And now God's giving the land to them. And they're like, we don't want it.

[00:13:32] We're going back to Egypt. It's a complete rejection of God, and Moses now has to beg God again, not to destroy his own people. These were the people that God loved.

[00:13:45] This was gonna be the kingdom of priests. They were gonna be his own special possession out of all the people. And now they have so rebelled against God.

[00:13:55] That he's ready to destroy them. But Moses. He he intercedes and so look what God says in numbers 14, verse 20. He hears the prayer of Moses and the Lord said, I have pardoned, according to your word, OK, I won't wipe the people out right now.

[00:14:12] But truly, as I live. And as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.

[00:14:18] None of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness and yet have put me to the test. These 10 times and have not obeyed my voice. None of those men shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despise me shall see it.

[00:14:38] But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully. I will bring into the land into which he went and his descendants shall possess.

[00:14:50] If you you if you read, they counted six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty men.

[00:14:58] And here's God saying none of those men get to go into the promised land. They're not going to listen to my voice. They're not going to believe what I'm telling them. None of them get to go. Caleb can go. He's got a different spirit than the rest of them. But none of those men can go in. I mean, this is God is angry.

[00:15:17] And look what he says in verse 26, he spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, how long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? God hears the complaints. He hears the grumblings.

[00:15:27] I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me, say to them as I live, declares the Lord, what you have said in my hearing, I will do to you. Hey, I heard those complaints. You want to die in the wilderness, OK? Your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness and have all your number listed in the census from 20 years old and upward who have grumbled against me. Not want shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you.

[00:15:57] Well, except Caleb, the son of Jeff Luna. And here he adds to that Joshua, the son of none.

[00:16:04] But your little ones. I remember how you were afraid for your children, your little ones who you said would become a prey.

[00:16:10] I will bring your children in and they shall know the land that you have rejected. But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness and your children shelbie shepherds in the wilderness. Forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land 40 days a year for each day. You shall bear your iniquity. Forty years and you shall know my displeasure. I, the Lord, have spoken.

[00:16:55] Wow.

[00:16:57] God is not having it when God tells us some to do, he makes a promise to us and we reject the promise of God, we rebell against it. We do not live by faith, but fear, God says. Yeah, that's right. You're going to wander in the wilderness until you die.

[00:17:15] Two out of six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty two men.

[00:17:22] Get to go into the promised land.

[00:17:25] This is what the number and the book of numbers is really all about, the number that should come to your mind is 40 years. When you hear about the book of numbers, that was the punishment for the people 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.

[00:17:38] Go look it up. Look where the Red Sea is on the globe. Look where Israel is on the globe. It's not that far of a distance. And they're going to wander there in the wilderness for 40 years because they did not believe God's promise and they didn't have the faith to go into the land.

[00:17:57] Therefore, this is the punishment upon them. Except for these two guys and we got to learn the example, go back to verse 24 and look what it says here about Kayla. Maybe you're not familiar with this guy, but he's going to become a hero among the people of Israel. In verse 24, it says, But my servant, Caleb, how awesome would that be to hear God refer to you as one of his servants? Well done, my good and faithful servant. Let me tell you, one of my one of my men, one of the guys who really serves me is Caleb. And he has a different spirit.

[00:18:32] You know, this is a positive use of the word different, we often use the word different in kind of a negative way. Right. Let's say you go out to lunch after the service. You and your family go out to lunch. You ask your child, hey, how is your how's your lunch? And your child says to you. My my food tastes different. That's not going to be a pleasant dining experience. Have you had that experience before?

[00:18:53] I know this is there's something different in a positive way that Caleb has that these other six hundred and three thousand five hundred and forty eight men don't have.

[00:19:05] He has a different spirit within him. And look what it says. Who follows me? He's followed me fully. Now, this is something we really need to key in on what God's saying here, God's saying no. When I see Kalo and I look at his soul, I look at his spirit, I look at who he really is, not his body. See, God doesn't see people the way that you and I see people. We see people on their outer appearance. We see their height. We see their way. We see their skin color. We see their gender. That's not how God sees people. God doesn't see bodies when he looks at people. He sees our souls. The scripture is clear that the eyes of the Lord.

[00:19:46] Run to and fro over the whole earth. And God is looking for the man whose heart is blameless, for the man who really belongs to him. And they're not compromised with any sin.

[00:19:57] They're not chasing after any other idols or loves. No gods looking for the man whose heart belongs fully to the Lord. And he says, Give me that guy right there, Caleb.

[00:20:08] He's different in his soul. He has followed me fully.

[00:20:14] He's gonna make it into the promised land.

[00:20:17] Turn with me to numbers 27 and you'll see what God says here about Joshua. There's a fascinating conversation in numbers 27, verse fifteen, a conversation between Moses and Yea way they are God and and Moses. He spoke to God as a man speaks to his friend face to face. So here's a conversation between Moses and God and we can really learn something from. And Moses is not going to go in the promised land. His someone else is going to lead the people in there. And so Moses is talking to God about his replacement. And you gotta pay attention to what Moses says here in numbers 27, verse fifteen.

[00:20:59] Moses spoke to the Lord. And when you see it there with all capital letters, l o r d. That's the name Yahweh. Moses spoke to your way saying let your way and look how he describes him here.

[00:21:11] The God of the spirits of all flesh appoint a man over the congregation. That might be a phrase that you want to write down, that you want to think about. He's the God of the spirits of all flesh, flesh being our skin and bones, flesh being our bodies.

[00:21:31] He's the God of the souls in our bodies. That's what Moses is saying.

[00:21:37] Moses is saying, hey, you could look right now, father, you can look into the hearts of everybody. You see them in their soul. You know who the guy is who should replace me. So I'm gonna appeal to you because you're the God of all souls. And I'm going to ask you because you know what's really going on with everybody who is the man who should lead the people into the promised land after this generation wanders in the wilderness for 40 years and dies and the next generation is going to rise up and go in there, who is the man to lead them? Verse eighteen.

[00:22:11] So the Lord said to Moses, Take Joshua, the son of none, a man in whom is the spirit and lay your hand on him. Now, when you read that in English, in our translation, it has spirit with capital us maybe referring to the Holy Spirit, but I don't know for sure. That's what the Hebrew is saying. It could just be referring to the spirit of Joshua and he could be saying to Moses, yes, I am the God of all spirits and I know the guy who has the spirit that fully trusts in me that's ready to follow me, make Joshua make him the leader of the people after you, Moses, because I see his spirit and his spirit belongs to me and me alone. What did amazing thought for all of us to consider. We got all dressed up. We came to church. You came to church in the rain today. God bless you. Right.

[00:23:03] We came to church and God, he sees you right now as you sit there.

[00:23:08] He sees you for who you really are. And God knows if you fully belong to him or if you're compromise between him and something else. And he's looking for the people here among us who have a different spirit. And he says, that's my soul right there.

[00:23:23] All take that guy. So when God searches your soul right now.

[00:23:29] What does he see? Does he see that you belong to him and him alone? Or does he see you divided in your spirit between him and between some scene between him and something we would say that's even a good thing, but it's competing in your heart.

[00:23:42] You can't say that you follow God Foley out to think about this ratio, everybody. Six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty men.

[00:23:51] Two of them. When God saw their soul. He knew these are the two that are going to lead the people into the promised land.

[00:24:00] Caleb and Joshua now go back to Nos 14 and let's just look at the statement again, because there's something about this idea of 40 years. This is gonna get quoted throughout the Bible, this story where these people had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. We're all supposed to know this story. It's something we're supposed to learn from this bad example here. And we're supposed to even teach it to our kids and pass it on to the next generation. So this lesson of 40 years is we're gonna see how it gets passed on throughout scripture and we should even know this story and we should be passing it on today. And I just happen to be right now an expert in how long 40 years is because I just turned 40 on Thursday, everybody. That's right. I'm for it. I don't know why you're clapping about it, but I just turned 40 on Thursday, guy. So I'm three days away from 40 years. So for Ike, I'm an expert witness on this account.

[00:25:04] And I know people have different thoughts in the room. About 40 years, some people in the room, they're like, wow, you're really getting old. That's what you think about 40. The younger people, others here, you're like, oh, you don't know anything. Yeah, you whippersnapper. That's what some of you are thinking.

[00:25:19] I'm not going to mention any names. Right.

[00:25:21] But you know who you are. All right. We have different views of 40, but let me just tell you, I'm 40 right now. I'm a fresh 40. And I can tell you that 40 years is a long time. It is a long time.

[00:25:34] If I were to die today, people would say, oh, he was he was so young, his life got cut short.

[00:25:39] Let me just tell you, I have been alive for a long time. If you added up all the time that I have wasted in my life all the time that God gave me, that I did not use for his glory. If you just added up all the hours that I have wasted in my life, it would be a long time.

[00:26:00] If you were to make a list of all the ways in 40 years that God has done so much more than anything I could ask or think, the way that God's blessings have blown away all of my expectations, we would have a hard time actually listing everything that God has done.

[00:26:15] He's so good over the last 40 years, make no mistake about it. Forty years is a long time.

[00:26:24] And God is of set. When his people do not listen to.

[00:26:29] And he wants he chose that number. And he said it repeatedly. And he gets repeated throughout scripture.

[00:26:35] And when you hear that number 40 years, he wants you to think about his people wandering in the wilderness, wasting their lives, waiting to die because he had promises and he had great things for them. And all they had to do was believe what he said and have the faith to go. And because they didn't do that, they missed out.

[00:26:58] On experiencing the glory of God. This is a lesson that he wants every single one of us to take to heart here today. Turn with me to Psalm 95. I really need everybody to turn to Psalm 95. It's on page four hundred and ninety nine. If you got one of our Bibles and this psalm and the writer of Hebrews tells us this song was written by David. And this song perfectly describes our church experience that we're having right now together here this morning in 2020.

[00:27:31] It says, Hey, Rosol 95, verse one o come let us sing to the Lord. Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. That's what Ryan Pierce does every Sunday morning. He gets that guitar. He comes out here and he says, Hey, who's excited to worship the Lord? Is that a good Ryan Peerson version nation right there? Is that what he says? Right. Some people are like, yeah, right. And then he starts strumming that guitar and we start singing a song and we're praising the Lord. Looked down at verse six.

[00:28:03] It says, Oh, come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord, our maker. He is our God. We are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.

[00:28:15] And then it turns right here and it says today, if you hear his voice, do not hard in your hearts as it Maraba as on the day of Massa in the wilderness.

[00:28:28] Do you remember the wilderness when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof though they had seen my work and for 40 years I lo.

[00:28:40] That generation. For 40 years, I was disgusted with them, that's what God saying, like, hey, everybody, thanks for being a church.

[00:28:49] Let's sing to the Lord and you better listen to the sermon and remember what happened to those people.

[00:28:55] I mean, that's what happens here in this song. It takes a dark turn. Like they they should have just been praising the Lord.

[00:29:04] Like, do you realize that the people in Caen and were more terrified of the Israelites than they were of them? That eventually, later on in numbers, one of the nations is going to come against the people of Israel and they had six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty men. They're going to only send 12000 and they're going to wipe out one of the nations in Cain. I mean, they're going to walk around and they're going to blow trumpets and walls are going to fall down. I mean, God had a big victory for his people and they could have gone in praising and celebrating, but instead they hard in their hearts against God and they did not listen to him. And so here we are ready to worship Jesus.

[00:29:48] And it says today, if you can hear God, you better learn the lesson of 40 years of people that God was disgusted with. He let him wander in the wilderness until they died. Why they didn't listen to him.

[00:30:01] They don't believe his word.

[00:30:03] They heard what God said. I'm giving you the land over and over from generation to generation. I'm giving you the land. It's the promised land. It's yours. Go get it. Harden my heart. Not gonna do it. Rather go back to Egypt.

[00:30:18] No, it says today, here's David now hundreds of years later, writing this song saying we need even now, way later, we need to learn the lesson of the 40 years of the wandering in the wilderness because you might make the same mistake as those people.

[00:30:33] You might hear what God's telling you. And if you heart in your heart and you don't go and seize the promise that God lays before you.

[00:30:41] Well, you saw how he treated those people, his people. You don't think he's gonna do something different for you if you reject him?

[00:30:50] Point number one. I mean, it's a point that David's making. We need to make this point here today. Point number one. Do not heart in your heart to hearing God's voice. Do not heart in your heart to hearing God's voice. David here. He says that 40 years in the numbers. That's not just for the people of Israel. That's for all of us to learn from that. That's a number that we should all know. And he quotes God here saying hang for 40 years. I was disgusted. I loathed that generation. And here's what he said. There are people who go astray in their heart. Their soul is not fully for me. Their heart is not blameless toward me. They're going somewhere else in their heart. I see their souls.

[00:31:31] They have not known my ways. Therefore, I swore in my wrath. They shall not enter my rest. I had a land of promise flowing with milk and honey. And these people. They will not go in there.

[00:31:45] Because they've heart in their heart to me. They don't listen to me.

[00:31:51] I mean, this is this is a lesson for every one of us to apply to our souls as we sit here before God looking at our souls today. Are you listening to what God says?

[00:32:03] Are you ready to believe his promises? Are you ready to obey his commands? Or when you hear the word of God? Do you heart in your heart against it and act like it's not for you? And you don't need to do it.

[00:32:16] Says today, if you hear his voice, do not hard in your hearts, look back at verse eight. Look what it says here. It says, Do not heart in your hearts. As at Maraba, it says there. And then it says, Eyes on the day at Massa in the wilderness.

[00:32:31] Now that my fellowship group, as we've been reading through the law, I meet with some of my brothers every week, we've been going through the law. We meet together. And one of the things we've noticed about ourselves, and I hope you're reading through the law, I hope you've got people in your fellowship, group of friends that you're talking about it with. We've noticed that in the past when it comes to reading God's holy word in the scripture, we've done a lot of gloss over reading like a lot of times when we read a verse like this, verse eight, where it says, Do not heart in your hearts as it Maraba as on the day at Mass.

[00:33:04] So when I hear Maraba Massa, I don't really know what that is. Let's just go on and read the next verse. I don't know if anybody else has done that. Maybe me and my fellowship group are just the worst centers here at this church. But that's that's what we were. It's what we used to do. Oh, yeah. I don't know what that means. All just keep reading. Now, you might want to write down that Maraba is going to show up in numbers 20 where the people complain, where they test the Lord because they want some water. And that's where Moses is gonna give them water from the rock. But that's where Moses gets so overwhelmed with the complaints of the people that instead of speaking to the rock, he strikes the rock two times and he this obeys God. And that's why Moses doesn't get to go to the Promised Land.

[00:33:47] So this place, Maraba, this is the place that's known for rebellion. This is the place that's known for their complaining. God told him to do one thing.

[00:33:56] And they complained the opposite, though, that what happens in numbers is an example. And this place, Massa, you could write down Exodus 17, verse seven. They already started their complaining way back in Exodus.

[00:34:09] Now they're going to Purrfect. They're complaining in numbers. I mean, we're going to hear a whole lot of complaining. A whole lot of rebellion is coming up in the rest of the book of numbers. The rest of the book in numbers is like a car ride and you're the dad in the front seat and your kids are in the backseat and they're out of control. And you're like, you kids are going to be disciplined when you get home. And except the problem is we've still got a long car ride till we get home. And they think they can keep getting away with it in the backseat. They're not sorry. They're not humbled. They're not. Please forgive me, Dad. They're not begging for mercy. No, they're hungry for more rebellion. More complaining. Let me just tell you, as you read through numbers, that car is going to get pulled over a few times.

[00:34:50] All right. I mean, these people, they are just going to go off the deep end of complaining, of grumbling. That's what Maraba Massa. That's what that's supposed to bring to our minds.

[00:35:03] Forty years a God pronounced that judgment upon them of 40 years. And they weren't, like, broken. They weren't contrite. They weren't sorry about it. They weren't like, oh, your merciful.

[00:35:14] Oh, your loving kindness. Please forgive us. We should have been saying that we want to go into the land. No, they're they're just complaining.

[00:35:22] They're just rebellious. God was disgusted with them for 40 years.

[00:35:28] And if you heart in your heart to a God says Psalm 95 is trying to teach us the lesson of 40 years. Yeah, yeah. That could happen between you and God to.

[00:35:38] In fact, turned to me with me to Psalm 81, verse seven. Another song that refers to Maraba here in Psalm 81, verse seven. This is a Psalm of Asef. He expects people to know the story of numbers. The wandering in the wilderness, Psalm 81, verse seven, spoken from the perspective of God. Hear your way in. The first person saying in distress, you called and I delivered you. I heard your cry from Egypt. I delivered you out of slavery. I answered you in the secret place of thunder. I spoke to you from Mount Sinai, my holy mountain. And then look at this line right here. I tested you at the waters of Maraba and then it says, Sailor, that's the word in the Psalms, the Hebrew word for a PIs.

[00:36:25] See, there's a wordplay going on here because it numbers.

[00:36:28] It keeps saying that the people test God by their complaining. The people test God by their grumbling. But now God flips it around here in the song and he says, I tested you and I saw that you did not have faith to believe my promises. But instead, you grumbled and complained and you failed the test. So you didn't get to go in the promised land.

[00:36:52] So real wordplay.

[00:36:54] This word of testing, God saying, hey, it was actually a test for you and you failed because you didn't pass the test of faith.

[00:37:05] As we read your numbers, it's going to be come very clear, you are either doing one of two things, you are either testing God or you are trusting God.

[00:37:14] You are either testing the patience of God with your complaining or you are trusting the promise of God and living by faith. Everybody's if you have a relationship with God right now, you're either trusting him or you're testing him.

[00:37:28] And the people of Israel tested him so much that they didn't pass the test and they didn't get to go now hear the heart of God and the rest of this song here, God. Now say, here's what I wish would have happened with me and the people there at that place where they sent out the spies right before they were getting ready to go in the land. Here's what I wish would have happened. Verse eight here.

[00:37:51] Oh, my people. Well, I admonish you. Oh, Israel, if you would. But listen to me. Hear. God crying out.

[00:37:59] If my people would just listen to me, there shall be no strange God among you.

[00:38:05] You shall not bowed down to a foreign God. I am your way. Your God. Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. I wanted to satisfy you.

[00:38:21] I wanted to give you good things. That's why I was taking you to the land.

[00:38:28] But my people did not listen to my voice. Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own councils. I literally did what they complained about. I said whatever they wanted to say, that's what happened.

[00:38:44] All that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways. I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes, those who hate the Lord would cringe toward him and their fate would last forever. But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat and with honey from the rock.

[00:39:03] I would satisfy you. Here's God's who alternative reality. What would have happened if they just were to listen to him and they didn't harden their hearts against him. He would have destroyed all of their enemies. They would have blown the trumpets. He would have come and saved the day. And then they would have known a land flowing with milk and honey. They would have been satisfied.

[00:39:24] God says.

[00:39:26] But they missed out on all of God's blessings on seeing all of his promises fulfilled because they hardened their hearts and they would not listen to God, every time you hear the word of God, every time you open it up and read it. You have an opportunity to hear what God is saying, to believe his promises, to respond with faith, or you can hear what God is saying and you can harden your heart against it and act like it's not for you. And you don't need to do it because of some excuse that you make a. Please, God san, do not heart in your hearts like they did when they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, so it happens with Moses hundreds of years later. David still writing about it like we should learn the lesson of 40 years. Turn with me to the book of Hebrews and you'll see how he is using the idea of 40 years to teach. Now, the Church of Jesus Christ. So this wasn't even a story for Israel to know. No. Now, this is for people who've been saved like us by the blood of Jesus Christ, people who are in the new covenant. We are the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. No, it is still important to this day. Let me ask you a question. Does God want his people today to have faith in his promises? God wants people of faith. He wanted it with Israel. Let's talk about Jesus Christ and his disciples. What was the main frustration that Jesus had with his followers? Oh, ye of little.

[00:41:00] And that wasn't some, like, cute thing Jesus was saying. It wasn't some pet name for the disciples or all.

[00:41:06] You guys are so cute. Just wait till the Holy Spirit shows up and you'll be awesome. But right now, your little faith. That's not what it was. He was frustrated with them that they would not believe what he said.

[00:41:19] This has always been the frustration between God and his people is that when God speaks to you, he wants you to listen to him. He wants you to believe him. He wants you to trust that if God said it, he's going to do it because he always keeps his promises. And I'm going to have faith, whatever God says. That's what's gonna happen. That's the kind of soul God's looking for.

[00:41:44] The person of faith.

[00:41:46] Now we've got in Hebrews. Now look at Hebrews, chapter three, verse seven, page one thousand and two. Now we're on. So this is now a thousand years after David. And we're still talking about the lesson of the 40 years. You can see Psalm 95 is quoted there and Hebrews three versus seven to eleven. Right. They if you hear his voice today, don't hard in your hearts. This is still the lesson.

[00:42:13] You've got to see what happened to them when they heart in their hearts. He promised the land. They said no.

[00:42:19] They wandered in the wilderness until they died for 40 years. OK. Apply that to yourself today if you can hear God speak. Don't be like those people. Don't hard in your heart.

[00:42:30] And he warns us that there's a real danger of people in the church, people who claim the name of Jesus, of not having faith and persevering, but of actually this evil, unbelieving heart that would lead you to want to go back to Egypt. That would lead you to want to go back to your old life of sin or go back to your old life of idols, that your soul would be compromised because you would lack the faith to move forward in your and your Christian walk. There's a warning here. Hey, watch out for yourself. Even watch out for one another. Encourage one another, because people fall away from the faith because they don't believe the promises of God. It happened in numbers. It's happening today in the church.

[00:43:12] That's the warning here in Hebrews. So we've got to be crystal clear here at our church, when we say faith, what do we mean by faith? What does that word mean? Because people use that word all kinds of different ways these days. What do we mean when we say fake? Now, a lot of times we're talking about saving faith. Right.

[00:43:34] And the faith that we want every single person here to have is we want you to have faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We seriously believe that two thousand years ago, there was a man who was actually the son of God who humbled himself from have and came down to earth. And he died on the cross for your sins. He died as a substitute, a sacrifice in your place because you deserve to be judged for what you've done before, a holy God. And he took all of that judgment, all of that wrath. He took it on himself. And what he gives you when you trust in Jesus, you get his righteousness. And because he's paid for all of your sin. It's the greatest deal ever.

[00:44:15] Like, you realize I'm not good enough. I can't make myself good enough. I'll never be righteous before. God, I've already sinned. I can't even make my self righteous if I wanted to. And then I see Jesus who was perfect righteousness, who did everything. God said, I'm going to trust in him, that he died for my sin. And the moment you have faith to transfer your trust from yourself to Jesus, you get his righteousness. You enter a relationship with God. We want every single person to have that saving face.

[00:44:48] Every single person here like you have to believe in Jesus Christ or you will die.

[00:44:53] You will wander around in this life and you will perish apart from God for all of eternity.

[00:44:59] You will not be right with God except through Jesus. You have to see what he did when he died and how he rose again so that you could have this new life of victory. You have to believe in that, trust in that. And when you do, God says you're right with him and that not only are you right with him, but now you have the power of Jesus in you. This resurrection life of Jesus is now in you by his spirit. And you can actually start now to live out what is right and walking God's ways and do what he says. He completely changes you from the inside in your soul, but you have to trust in Jesus.

[00:45:34] OK, but here's what happens over time, and now I'm talking to my brothers and sisters in Christ.

[00:45:40] When you say you have faith, what you often mean, what? The way I hear people often use that is I have a rearview faith. I have a faith. Looking back, I believe in the past Jesus died and rose again. And there was a time in my life where I believe that maybe you would say it was many years ago. So faith is something I already have.

[00:46:00] You need to see. That's never the way the Bible talks about faith. Faith is in active obedience. Looking forward, that's what faith is. Faith is not like you. I've already got it. I'm good. No, the question is always, are you trusting in the promises of God right now? Are you living.

[00:46:20] Not based on a way that makes sense to you?

[00:46:22] Not based on what your calendar says or the weather man says or the news says or the wisdom of the day says you're you're living based on what God says. His promises determine your life. You can't see it, but you believe it. God said it. So you go and do it. That's living by faith. That's what it's saying. It's an even if you believe that God has saved you. You haven't experienced the fullness of your salvation. God still wants you to live out your salvation right now. And you'll really know salvation when you're with Jesus, when you're in his presence, his holy splendor, you're made like him in his glory. There's no sin in you, no sin around you. It's you and Jesus forever. That's salvation. You're not there yet. And what's the thing that's going to get you from here today to there with Jesus? It's faith.

[00:47:14] That's what compels you forward. That's what keeps you going every day. We've got to stop as Christian people. We've got to stop using faith in the past tense. Faith is what gets us out of bed in the morning. We're rising and shining and ready to see the glory of the Lord. That's what faith is. And if you don't feel like you're compelled to live for God, if you don't feel like you're really moving forward, like his promises really keep you going, it's because of a lack of faith. And there's a big warning going out to you today. Hey, watch out. You could end up wandering around and wasting your life. Even as one of the people who claims to be one of the people of God, remember the 40 years in the wilderness.

[00:47:56] Because he says here in Hebrews chapter three, verse 16, he asks a question and he answers it with a question. And now he's applying numbers 14. What we're studying. He's applying it to Christian people. Who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? You think you're one of God save people? Yeah. All of those people would've thought they'd been delivered to. With whom was he provoked for 40 years?

[00:48:24] Was it that those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness and to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest? But to those who were disobedient. So we see that they were unable to enter because of key word right there. What is.

[00:48:42] They didn't believe.

[00:48:44] Are you thinking that's like a big sin in your life? Is that something that's on your radar? Like, one of the worst things I could do is not believe what God says. I could hard in my heart to the promise of God and I could not have faith. See, this was their sin. Unbelief.

[00:49:01] That's a warning he's saying to everybody that he's writing to that he wants to be a Christian in the new covenant by the blood of Jesus, you could still have unbelief in your life.

[00:49:12] Point number two here is when God makes a promise. You better believe it. That's point number two here. When God makes a promise, you better believe it. Well, we got to take God at his word if God says something. We have to. OK. God said this. This is how we all need to train ourselves to think as Christians. God said this. So I will do this right. God made this promise.

[00:49:40] So by faith, believing the promise of God. I'm now going to fill in the blank.

[00:49:47] And this passage, I mean, the writer of Hebrews, he spent so much time on this 40 year idea. You can read the whole thing. It goes from chapter three, verse seven, all the way to chapter four, verse 13. That whole section of Hebrews is all making sure that they've learned the lesson of the 40 years that you two might not believe, God might not really listen to his word and respond to it with faith. And you, too, might be wandering. Watch out. Some people who claim the name of Jesus and say they have faith, they don't have faith that endures to the end. They don't make it to enter the rest of God. Watch out. That's the warning of the book of Hebrews still talking about the 40 years, still applying it to us. Look at what he even says in chapter four, verse twelve. All right. Let's take it from verse 11. Look at the. The real climax of his argument here from the 40 years lesson. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest. Hey, you're a Christian. Great. Live by forward thinking faith. Go for it until you get to heaven. Keep living by faith so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience for the word of God. This is what we should be listening to. The word of God is living an active it sharper than any two edged sword piercing to the division of soul and spirit of joints and marrow and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight. But all our naked and exposed to the eyes of him, to whom we must give account.

[00:51:25] Don't you realize what's happening when you read the Bible, don't you realize what's happening when you hear a sermon? That's the word. By the power of the spirit. It's cutting into your soul.

[00:51:35] It's speaking to your heart. It's showing you who you are. This is it. You're getting a glimpse of who you really are. And now you can see yourself as God sees you as a soul. And this is who you really are before him. And when you get that glimpse of who you really are.

[00:51:50] Don't harden your heart and act like everything's OK.

[00:51:54] When God speaks to you, when he sees you by the spirit and he says this is who you are in your say. God is looking at you.

[00:52:04] He's showing you who you are. You've got to respond to that. You got to believe that.

[00:52:11] You've got to turn from that. You've got to trust in what God says. Don't lean on your own understanding even about yourself.

[00:52:18] God knows you better than you know yourself. And God holds up the scripture as a mere to your soul. And it cuts to your heart. You got to respond.

[00:52:32] Says we can make the same exact mistake that they made in the Book of numbers where God said, here's the promise. It's right in front of you. Go get it. And we could do that same thing where God's saying, here's my command, here's my promise. Here's what you could do. And we say no.

[00:52:46] I'd rather go back to Egypt. And God says, yeah, just think about 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. That's the message that God has. You don't want to listen to me. Well, here's the alternative. But God wants us to believe his promises. He wants us to listen to him.

[00:53:05] He has great plans for us. He has he has great things that he wants to give to us. Blessings that he wants us to know and enjoy.

[00:53:14] And it's all out there. It's all already there for us. We just have to believe and go by faith.

[00:53:22] And so I have a question for you here today. What promises of God are you live in your life based on? God promised this, therefore, I do this point number three, and this is to go.

[00:53:34] This is for all of us here at this church. Point number three, identify a promise of God and act upon it. So this is what we're asking everybody at our church to do to make sure we've all learned the lesson of 40 years is we want everybody to have a promise like chapter and verse, like memorized and not a promise of the land that was for Israel, not a promise of the nation, nor a promise to us in the Church of Jesus Christ.

[00:54:02] This very day and there are so many promises in the scripture that apply directly to you and your soul and the ideas you would be able to say, here's the promise and here's what I'm going to do about it.

[00:54:14] Like, if somebody came up to you in the hall and they said, hey, what's your promise? You'd be able to tell them, here's what God said and here's what I'm doing based on what God said. We want everybody at this church to be able to answer that question. That's our goal. You'll see the application questions are about that. We're going to talk about it in our fellowship groups. What is at least one?

[00:54:35] You could do more than one, but everybody's got to have at least one. Just like God promised them the land and they were supposed to go, but they didn't have the faith to do it.

[00:54:44] What has God promised you and what are you going to do by faith?

[00:54:50] Right now, the eyes of the Lord run to Anthro, and he's looking all over the world and he's looking at people sitting in churches all over our country.

[00:55:00] And when God sees your soul, does he see someone who is fully following him by faith?

[00:55:09] That's what he's looking for. And so what has he promised you and what are you going to do about it?

[00:55:16] Now, I'm not going to make it easy for you. I'm not going to throw, you know, five examples up there and pick one. No, this is real. This is between you and God. There's a whole book of things that he has said. He's promised to always be with you to answer your prayers, to forgive you for your sins.

[00:55:32] I mean, there are so many promises in here. Which ones define your life? Which ones are going to determine what you do for the rest of the time that God gives you? You're not going to be wandering around. You're going to be boldly believing this promise and going forward by faith.

[00:55:49] What are the promises? That you're going to live by the promises that when you die, people will say, one thing I know about so-and-so is they really believed what? What will they say? I'll tell you one promise, I'll give you an example from my life. One thing that I have come to believe, I promise that that Jesus made himself the promise that Jesus made really to all of us.

[00:56:13] You know, Jesus took his disciples away at that one point because he was he was so tired of their of their lack of faith. And and he took them away. And he said, who do people say that I am? And they said, well, some say you're this prophet. Some say you're that prophet. But then he said, well, who do you say that I am? And Peter, you said, I know who you are. You're the Christ, you're the Messiah. You're the anointed one. You are the son of the living God. And he said, you're right, Peter. That is who I am. And based on what you just said, based on that revelation of Jesus, I will build my church promise and the gates of Haiti, Satan and all of his demons death and the place where souls go when they die. Nobody will stop me from building my church. That's what Jesus says.

[00:57:00] He says, I'm want to build it on the rock of who I am, right answer, Peter.

[00:57:04] And no one's going to stop me from building my church.

[00:57:07] Now, even after they knew who Jesus was, still later, he's calling them a faithless generation. He's rebuking them for their lack of faith. He's saying, if you really had faith in God, I would move mountains for you.

[00:57:22] And I heard that promise. Growing up, I mean, I was grown up going to church. Mean, I had I had Christian parents and they took me to church and from a young age based on the blessings of God in my life.

[00:57:33] I knew two things as as a young boy, I knew two things were true. One was that I was a sinner and I deserve to die and go to hell. And two was the only way out was Jesus Christ on that cross.

[00:57:45] I knew those two things. And I believed in Jesus.

[00:57:49] I had faith in him and I and I came to understand that Jesus had these people and the people were the church, and if you wanted to be a part of what Jesus was doing on planet Earth, you would go to church, you would be with those people.

[00:58:01] And I didn't really have a choice when I was growing up. All right.

[00:58:04] I mean, my parents, my my dad, he got saved during the Jesus movement at USC and he got saved in a radical way. And he started carrying his Bible all around as an on fire new Christian at USC. And my mom's like, who's this guy carrying his Bible around campus? They fell in love. Boom. That's where I came from.

[00:58:22] Everybody right there. OK. And they said, we're going to church. And it wasn't like at my house. We went to church. It was like the Blakey family calendar revolved around the church calendar. It was like church was more important than our family. Church was more important than anything else we had going on this. My dad wasn't a pastor at this time. This was just how it was. Jesus is built in his church and we're going to be there to watch it happen. And so I started really becoming passionate about the church, I can remember in high school seeing people get saved all around me and how exciting that was. So I went to Bible College. And if you had told me when I was in college, you would have said someday you're going to be a pastor and you're going to be a pastor in Huntington Beach. I would have never believed you if you would have said that.

[00:59:07] I never thought I would be a pastor, and I knew I never knew about Huntington Beach.

[00:59:11] I never thought, hey, that's a place I'd I'd like to live. I'd like to sit in traffic for most of my life. I never thought about these kinds of things. I didn't I didn't know anything about it. But here's what did happen to me when I graduated college. I had big plans of what I wanted to do. Like I had a whole career path. I thought I knew what my family was going to look like. And I remember this friend of my dad's, he invited me to come and check out this church where he worked. And this church was so weak. They weren't preaching the Bible. They weren't preaching the gospel. And he took me to the youth group. And there were all these high schoolers, just they were dead. They didn't want to be there. They didn't care. They didn't care about God. They didn't care about one another.

[00:59:51] And I realize the church needs help. Jesus said he would build it. And look at how bad it is. I thought I got to do something. I can't just go live my life. I got to live with Jesus is say. So I started doing high school ministry.

[01:00:07] Just changed my idea of what I was going to do based on the need that I saw and how bad it was, and I started preaching the gospel to young people. That led me to Compass Bible Church down in Alley Soviet Ho. And I remember this. This meeting we had, there's these guys down there, these pastors, Mike and Pete, and they were both sitting there with me and they said, someday we're gonna plant you, you're going to plant a church, we're gonna send you and you're going to start a church. And I remember when they said that I laughed out loud. I L.O. well to their faces. I said, guys, I don't think you guys understand. Have you seen your high school ministry?

[01:00:44] It's dad. These kids aren't into it. They don't want to be there. They don't love Jesus. They don't love one another. They're barely even showing up. They're forced to be there. And so we started preaching the gospel to high school students, to young people. And we took it serious and it started become what we do. And you know what we saw? We saw Jesus Christ keep his promise where there was no life. There was like. All right.

[01:01:07] People started getting saved. Young people like people you saw, people like Shane. People like Matt and not all of them went on to be like directors of youth ministries at churches. That like people, like so many people that God was grabbing them, seizing them. And there's a bunch of leaders that came together and we're like, we're going to make disciples. We're gonna believe that Jesus will build his church with young people in Orange County. Let's go. And God brought us together. So that all of a sudden the idea of planning a church and moving to Huntington Beach didn't just become like an idea. It became. Of course, that's what we're gonna do, because Jesus promised that he would do it. And in 2014, there was a bunch of us. We moved our families. We moved up here. We found new houses and we said we're gonna see what God does. And there were some of us who already lived around here. And we started this church in 2014.

[01:02:00] And over the last five and a half, six years now. I mean, just looking around this room right now, how many people have got saved in the last few years? And I don't know why anybody's surprised because Jesus promised that he would build his church. And this is what he's doing. This is what he's doing. And now this promise, like I couldn't think of anything else that I would be doing, but being a pastor in Huntington Beach waiting to see what Jesus is going to be doing next. I'm going to live by his promise. I'm going to die by his promise. And this is something I know he's going to do.

[01:02:35] What do you know he's gonna do? What are you living by faith? You can't see it. There was nobody. There was no church. There was no place to have church. We've been in my living room. That's where we started. When you can't see it, but, you know, he said it. So you believe it? You have faith. What's the story of that in your life? How do you have this forward active obedience? Because God said it. And so you're going to do it. Let me pray for you, Father, and have. Yeah, we just want to come to you and we want to confess that we could just be just like those people in the wilderness. You could be making these amazing promises and ready to give us so many blessings, ready to defeat all of our enemies.

[01:03:21] Ready to satisfy us and open our mouth wide and fill it with your life.

[01:03:27] And here we are doubting you and going back the other way, hardening our hearts to what you say. God, I pray that you would forgive us for our faithlessness. And now you would open our eyes to see your faithfulness, that you always keep your promises, that you always do exactly what you're gonna say, you're gonna do that never once have you lied to us. Never once have you disappointed us. You've promised that you would be with us and here you are today.

[01:03:56] You promised that you would forgive us and here we are forgive and you promise that you would answer our prayer. And this church, this service that we're having is living proof that you are a God who answers prayers and you do more than all that we could ask or think you're better than we even know you to be.

[01:04:13] And yet we're so tempted to tell you. Were so tempted to have fear of what other people think. Were so tempted to hear your word and think it's talking about somebody else some other time. Not me. Not now. God, I pray that today we would say I'm not going to heart in my heart. We're going to live by faith in what you say. God give everybody at least one promise, one thing that they can know it's true. No matter what their feelings say, what their circumstances say, what other people say, they will live by what you say they will live and die by. God make us people that when your eyes are searching. To and fro over the whole earth, may you stop in Huntington Beach, may see our souls that we believe you. We trust what you say. We listen to your word. Teach us the lesson of 40 years. So we don't wander around wasting our lives. But let us live today by faith in your promises. We pray this in Jesus name a man.

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