.

Wasted

A sinful life is a waste

Table of Contents
* Background
* God never gives up
* Complaining
* Wasted Life

Scripture

Num 14:34 "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise."

Text

Num 14:34 "…each day for a year…"

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Background

Moses brought Israel out of Egypt and crossed Red Sea, received the 10 Commandments, received the Ceremonial Law and arrived at Kadesh Barnea. They sent in 12 spies into Promised Land. 12 came back. 2 reported a good and fruitful land. 10 reported giants, walled cities and catastrophy.
The people believed the evil report.

It was evil because the 10 spies complained about
the people being too strong
the cities were too well fortified
the giants were in the land
the Amalekites were there
the Jebusites were there
the Hittites were there
the Amorites were there

Caleb and Joshua said
it is all true but …

“if God be for us, who can be against us?”

But the 10 spies said

Num 13:31 "…We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we."

People cried and refused to go in the Promised Land.
They complained about Moses bringing them there, God for not helping them, and being left to die in the wilderness.

God of course hears this
and gives them what they want.
Israel will not have to go in the Promised Land.
Everyone of Israel, 20 years of age and upward will die in the wilderness

Num 14:34 "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years…"

Oh God, the wasted days and months and years.

40 years in the wilderness
they could have lived in homes instead of tents
they could have raised crops and fruit trees instead gathering manna

40 years of going nowhere
Kind of reminds me of those exercise bikes, ride them for 30 minutes and never leave the spot from which you started.

40 years of wandering around
all because they would not obey God.

When God speaks, respond to the Test
Israel was fearful of the adverse conditions in the Promised Land.

Their fear caused them to fail the test of Faith
will you trust the Lord, not just for Salvation
but for every need of life
and for every need of others
and for every command He gives?

Their fear caused them to fail the test of Courage
will you take courage
when the times are tough
when the others will not help
when the conditions are at their worse?

Their fear caused them to fail the test of Obedience
will you obey God
when He says to go forth
when He demands your affirmative action
when He opens the door for you to enter?

Moses told them
of God’s displeasure

Num 14:39 "And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly."

God was not pleased with their disobedience
God knows best
God knows all
God knows when
So when God commands it is time to obey God’s decree

They would not enter into the Promised Land.
They would all, above the age of 20, die in the wilderness

Their sons and daughters would receive the Promise.

Attempt to make things right.

Num 14:40 "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."

The people realized their mistake
so they decided to rectify things.
They decided to repent of their sin.
They decided to be obedient after all.
They decided to do what God had said.

Num 14:41 "And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper."

Moses asks,
Why are you disobedient in this also.
You said, No!, you would not enter in.
God said, OK, you most certainly will not enter in, and here are the consequences.
Then, you said, we changed our minds.
God said, now you are going against the command that I made for you not to go in.

Num 14:42 "Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies."
Num 14:43 "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."

Moses told them
there is no Second Chance at doing the same thing.
God will not be with you.

Don’t get me wrong.
God is the God of the Second Chance.
If you fail at one thing, God is ready to allow you a chance at another.
But not with the same thing you failed in.

Failed to stay pure in your life?
God will give you another chance, but not with that same exact, particular situation.

Failed to stay honest?

Failed to stay faithful?

Every opportunity comes only once.
Their will be other opportunities.
But never that same exact one again.

Also be aware,
the second chance may not come right away.

Look at the Text Verse.

Num 14:34 "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise."

God gave them 40 days
to search out the Promised Land.
God gave them some time after the spies got back to talk it over.
But God pronounced 40 years would come and go before the next similar opportunity would come again.

Some will doubtless say,
“Pretty Harsh”

All we have to do is obey.
With faith.
With courage.
With Obedience.

Illustration:
An old, old evangelist used to tell the story about a meeting he had in Pennsylvania. During an evening service he noticed a teenage boy struggling with the decision for salvation. After the service, he asked the boy about being saved. The boy refused. The next morning, while on the boardwalk along the dirt street, he saw a large commotion. He discovered the boy laying on the street. The boy had been thrown from a horse.
They all carried the boy to a nearby home. He seemed to go into a coma, then suddenly came to and shouted, “Lost, Lost, and I am lost forever.”

He missed his opportunity

Num 14:44 "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."
Num 14:45 "Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah."

God would not let them have a second chance
at the same thing at the same time.

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God never gives up

Now please look
at one of the most interesting passages in the Bible.

At first,
one might read right over it and miss it altogether.
But look closely at Numbers 15.1-2

Num 15:1 "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,"
Num 15:2 "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you,"

Did you see it?
Maybe not, I didn’t see it at first either.

God told Moses
Immediately after pronouncing their 40 year sentence to give them instructions on when they arrive in the Promised Land, 40 years later.

After failure

After disobedience

After lack of Faith

After their display of lack of courage

This tells me …
With God we have forgiveness, true forgiveness.

He doesn’t sit and pout.

He doesn’t stew over our failures.

He doesn’t hold a grudge.

He doesn’t become discouraged.

With God we also have a future.

God is looking ahead.

God is planning our future
before our past is hardly done.

God is making plans for other opportunities.

God using the second generation
to go past the failures of the first.

You children may be able to see our failures
if so, don’t complain or you will be tempted to do the same yourselves.

God is giving you a chance
to go beyond our mistakes.

But what ever you do
don’t complain about us.

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Complaining

When the spies brought back their report the people became fearful and began to complain.

They complained about
Moses
God
their losing the battle
their not having a Promised Land
their having left Egypt
and slavery
and losing their male children to murder by midwives
and their having to gather their own straw to make bricks
and their beatings
and so on.

Complaining produces no good results,
only more complaining.

Gal 6:1 "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."

Complaining is corrupting

Num 20:5 "And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink."

The People started complaining

Num 20:6 "And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them."

Moses was angry with the People
but he ran to God anyway.

Num 20:7 "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,"
Num 20:8 "Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink."
Num 20:9 "And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him."
Num 20:10 "And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?"

Hear is where we see Moses’ anger
and where we see their complaining rub off on him.

Num 20:11 "And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also."
Num 20:12 "And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them."

The Lord saw it all as well.
And there was no second chance at this chance.

Complaining is condemned

Num 21:4 "And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way."

You better watch it
when people become discouraged, they start complaining.

Num 21:5 "And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread."

It was good to start with
but now they couldn’t stand it.

It was not even that bad yesterday.
But since they were discouraged today, everything is going to be wrong, bad, or generally disgusting.

Num 21:6 "And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died."

God hears what we say.

Num 21:7 "Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people."

The people repented.

Num 21:8 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live."

The Lord heard that as well
and came to help.

Num 21:9 "And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."

The people lived.
But the ones that died are gone forever.

No second chance of any kind.

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Illustration

Maxwell White was a burglar who was famous for stealing from the very wealthy. He got to be so famous that you really were not very much among the Rich and Famous unless Maxwell White had burglarized your home.
There may have been a few that faked being burglarized by Maxwell White just to be accepted socially.
Finally he was caught and jailed for 30 years.
When he was released a reporter found him and asked, “Who did you steal the most from?” He replied, “I suppose, considering the 30 years I wasted in jail, I stole the most from myself.”

This is exactly where lost opportunities leave us

This is exactly where complaining leaves us
Having stole from ourselves.
Having cheated ourselves.
Having mistreated ourselves.

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Wasted Life

Last night I talked with a man who was muscular and very intense,
that had almost lost his hearing and was losing his sight and he was 33 years old.
He was not afraid of any person.
He was not afraid of any thing.
He was not afraid of even death.
But, he was afraid of a wasted, useless life. We showed him that salvation was the start.

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Present Salvation

  by R.B.Quiolette

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