When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt the people personally witnessed the power and presence of God. This experience should have resulted in unshakeable faith and unquestioning trust in God expressed through prayerful gratitude and spontaneous worship. But:
- Instead of expressing their thanks for God’s provision the Israelites were extremely demanding. “What are we going to drink?” Exodus 15:24
- Rather than respect those that God had ordained the Israelites spoke bitterly against their leaders. Exodus 16:1-2
- When God fed the Israelites they questioned Him and were puzzled about his gifts. “What is it?” Exodus 16:15
- Instead of surrendering to God the Israelites were constantly disobedient. Exodus 16:19-20, 27
- Although listening to God was the sensible option, the Israelites chose instead to grumble and complain. Exodus 16:26-27 and 17:1-3
Sound familiar? Take a look at church today. For Israelites read church members.
But not all the Israelites exhibited the same lack of faith, or bad attitudes, or moaned and complained. After forty years wandering around in the desert twelve spies were sent out to evaluate the land promised to the people of Israel by God. All agreed it was a good place but ten of the twelve turned their report into a risk assessment rather than confirming that the land was as described to them by God. Only Caleb and Joshua stood up and encouraged the people to trust God and move forward.
And if the Lord is pleased with us, He will bring is safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Numbers 14:8
Caleb and Joshua. Two out of twelve. Seventeen percent.
I’d like to believe we could manage more than seventeen percent in our churches today?