Those Who Were Conscious of God

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The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.” Moses said to the LORD, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them . . . ‘The LORD was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath; so he slaughtered them in the desert.’ . . . forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.” The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless . . . [those] who disobeyed me and tested me ten times—not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it . . . In this desert your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.” Nu 14:11-30

God was enraged with those who treated Him with contempt. The ten spies only looked at the threatening situation and neglected to remind the people of the fact that God was with them. It was true that they were blocked on all sides, but by focusing only on this, they failed to look up and realize that God was them. God pronounced judgment against the Israelites who grumbled, saying that they would never enter Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey.

The perspective of Joshua and Caleb and that of the ten spies toward the same situation were completely different; Joshua and Caleb reported the fact that God was with them. In other words, the ten spies only spoke about the obstacles surrounding them while Joshua and Caleb spoke about God who opened the way.

God chose twelve from among 600,000 men who were considered to be the most faithful and trustworthy. How disappointing and heartbreaking it was that only two of the twelve men were conscious of God. Many think that they too would have walked in the footsteps of Joshua and Caleb. However, when placed in that situation, it is not always easy to think of looking up toward God.

In this age, God is looking for people like Joshua and Caleb, who acknowledge God even in the most difficult situations. Those who are confined by their physical surroundings, without being conscious of God, can never be like Joshua and Caleb nor can they please God. The more threatening or difficult our situation becomes and the more we feel the walls collapsing in us, we should be conscious of God and depend on Him who provides a way out.