The Significance of Kadesh Barnea.
Some weeks ago I posted a blog on Ern Baxter's understanding of "The Land" and it's significance to us as believers. Of course anyone familiar with the story in the Old Testament will know that the children of Israel had been instructed to go into the land but ... "They came to Kadesh Barnea". In digging through my files I found an outline of Ern Baxter's sermon on this topic, and once again was profoundly amazed by the lessons that we as a people MUST learn - should God ever move in revival on His church again.
The Kadesh Crisis. (Numbers 13:26-14:38).
A. The Divine Timing. (Deut 1:6, 8; "You have dwelt long enough in this mount ... behold I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land").
i) Great revival moves are divinely timed.
ii) The present "charismatic" thing is divinely timed.
B. The Beginnings of Disobedience - the Spy Plan!
i) (Deut 1:21,22) "You came near unto me, everyone of you and said, "We will (God's will vs man's will) send men before us (man's direction vs God's direction) and they shall search out the land ...".
1. God had not said, "Go in and see if you like it!".
2. Since when were they to determine "by what way we must go up?" ... what had happened to the cloud?
3. They would decide whether they liked the will of God and if they did in what manner they would do it.
C. Moses Stoops To Pressure. "Vox populi, vox dei".
i) Deut 1:23 - "And the thing pleased me".
ii) Numbers 13:17 - "Moses sent them to spy out the land ... see the land, what it is (God's country) and the people that dwelleth there whether they be strong or weak, few or many (so what?) .... the land ... whether it be good or bad (God's land - bad?)".
1. It is NOT easy to be a leader!
2. Caught between God's Word and People Pressure.
3. God had said, "Go".
D. Who Were the Spies?
i) Numbers 13:3 - "All those men were heads of the children of Israel".
ii) Tribal leaders therefore responsible men.
iii) It is invariably the decisions of leaders that influence the people of God.
E. Yet Light In Darkness.
i) Numbers 13:16 - "And Moses called ... Joshua".
ii) Before the spies go into the land and the people refuse to obey, God has already marked out a man for something that WILL happen forty years later.
iii) In every move God is preparing a man to GO ON when that particularly movement of God dies through unbelief.
iv) The good of the past is perpetuated in the better of the new.
F. The Report of the Spies.
i) The Majority Report - "We are not able".
ii) The Minority Report - "Let us go up AT ONCE!".
iii) The Majority Rebuttal - "We are IN OUR OWN SIGHT as grasshoppers".
iv) The People collapse - "Let's get a new leader and go back to Egypt". Note: They died in the wilderness and didn't go back to Egypt.
G. The Divine Response.
i) Pardon - "I have pardoned them according to your word" - God listened to Moses intercession.
ii) Punishment - All were to be punished apart from Caleb and Joshua. The slanderous leaders died INSTANTLY ("Be not many leaders brethren ...").
iii) Promise - (Numbers 14:21) "As surely as I live - ALL the earth SHALL be filled with the glory of the Lord!". It was possible for Canaan, but failing that it WILL happen!
Summary: Pardon did not avert punishment. He continued to supernaturally provide for them until their death (common grace does not necessarily depart even if a generation has ignored God). He looks to a new man and a new people. "As SURELY ...!".
Article Reference List of this website available here.