Theme: Consequences of Rebellion
Objectives:
  • Know: The children of Israel treated God with contempt by doubting He could lead them into the Promised Land. God forgave them but they still had to face consequences for their unbelief.
  • Think: Rest in the assurance that God always keep His Word.
  • Do: Trust and obey God’s Word, never doubting His ability to accomplish His will.
Scriptures: Numbers 14:1-45
Notes and questions:
B1 The difference between fear and anxiety
  • Dr Harriet Lerner writes, “Sometimes we distinguish the two by our bodily experience. I’m sure you’re aware that the neurobiology of fear is different than the neurobiology of anxiety. The sudden re-arrangement of your guts when an intruder holds a knife to your back (fear), is different from the mild nausea, dizziness and butterflies in your stomach as you’re about to make a difficult phone call (anxiety).
  • Anxiety is also the word of choice to describe lingering apprehension, or a chronic sense of worry or tension, the sources of which may be totally unclear.
  • But the notion that “fear” always connotes something bigger and stronger than “anxiety” breaks down in real life experience.”
 B2 Grumbling
  • A verse: Do all things without grumbling and disputing, Philippians 2:14
  • The Greek word for grumbling is γογγυσμός/goggusmos (gong-goos-mos’). The idea is a secret complaint, for example, John 7:12 (And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceives the people).
  • The Greek word for disputing is διαλογισμός/dialogismos
  • It has the idea of doubting, questioning what is true, and arguing
  • A link about grumbling
 B3 Setting: The Wilderness of Paran
  • Many opinions as God’s people seem to have forgotten where it is.
  • An interesting article What Do Mt. Horeb, The Mountain of God, Mt. Paran and Mt. Seir Have to Do with Mt. Sinai?
B4 The outline
  • The Israelites respond to the evil report Numbers 14:1-10
  • Moses and God converse about the problem Numbers 14:11-38
  • The rebels go to fight but are defeated Numbers 14:39-45
B5 Numbers 14:1-10
  • This is the context: Numbers 13:26-33
  • What is the underlying problem with these complaining Israelites?
  • Was the land a land of “milk and honey?”
  • Why were the Israelites discouraged then?
  • Why wouldn’t they listen to rational argument?
  • Why do people reject God’s message, even today?
  • Whom do the Israelites blame, get angry at? Why?
  • What can we learn about this?
  • Do we believe God’s promises?
  • Abraham passed God’s test, so did David, Moses, and many others. Others have failed the test as Adam, Cain, Balaam, and here. Why do people fail when God tests them?
  • Does God mind if we ask Him questions? Was there any difference between Mary’s and Zechariah’s questions? See Luke 1:18-23 and Luke 1:34-37.
  • In Numbers 14:8, Joshua and Caleb tell them the giants’ protection is gone. What does this mean? How can we apply that for today?
  • Punishment comes to all sinners. We Christians have the Lord Jesus who was our Passover Lamb sacrificed for us. Is Numbers 14:10 an example of when people cross God’s line of no return, no time for repentance, now is judgment time?
  • Why do the Israelites want to go back into slavery, not long after they had been delivered? See 2 Peter 2:20-22 (If indeed they have escaped the corruption of the world through their knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, only to be entangled and overcome by it again, their final condition is worse than it was at first. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and turned away from the holy commandment passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud).”
B6 Numbers 14:11-38,
  • God’s statement to Moses is that He will destroy these rebels and make of him a greater nation than them. Is this a true statement?
  • Exodus 14:18, what important lessons can we learn about God and His dealings with humanity?
  • Exodus 14:18, the 3rd and 4th generations are punished? What if they do not commit the same sin? See Deuteronomy 5:9-10      
  • Ezekiel 18:4 Look! All lives are mine. The lives of father and son alike are mine. The person sinning will die.
  • Even though God forgave them, they will still be punished. Why should they be punished, if God forgave them? Does God delay punishment?
  • Numbers 14:22, is there a limit for the number of times we can test God?
  • The 10 spies feared the Amalekites and the Canaanites instead of God. How can we avoid the same danger of fearing the wrong thing?
  • The Israelites feared the inhabitants of the Promised Land saying they (Israel) would die. So now all Israelites 20 years old and older will die except Joshua and Caleb. What might happen to us if we do not believe God?
  • Some say that the actual wandering in the wilderness is only 38 years not 40 as God had stated. The 40 years of wandering would include the wandering they had done since they left Egypt.
  • The plague that brought death to the 10 evil spies was a sudden death by whatever cause. They experienced God’s wrath in this life, then only to face the eternal wrath later. They were totally rejected by God. We should be careful too.
B7 Numbers 14:36-45
  • Numbers 14:36-38, who lived and why?
  • Israel sought a second chance, but there was no second chance. What can we learn from this?
B8 Other questions
  • What is the difference between faith and doubt?
  • What does faith produce? How do we exercise faith?
  • What does doubt produce?
  • What happens when we rebel against God and His standards?
  • God has forgiven us our sins, but do those sins still have consequences?
  • How does knowing God’s promises help our faith?
  • What are the results of unbelief?
B9 A reminder of the objectives:
  • Know: The children of Israel treated God with contempt by doubting He could lead them into the Promised Land. God forgave them but they still had to face consequences for their unbelief.
  • Think: Rest in the assurance that God always keep His Word.
  • Do: Trust and obey God’s Word, never doubting His ability to accomplish His will.
B10 Next week:
  • A clean slate
  • Theme: A covering for sin
  • Scriptures: Numbers 15:1-31
Posted by Choco at 08:20
Labels: Numbers 14, rebellion, Sunday School Lesson

 

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