White Rock Baptist Church Blog

{tag_author}

The Gist of the Church School Lesson

Posted Friday, November 15, 2019

15Nov

Faithful in Consequences

Lesson: Numbers 14.10b-20 Read: Numbers 14.10b-23

The LORD passed before him, and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
Exodus 34.6-7 (NRSV)

This lesson concludes the story of the twelve spies and the fate of Israel to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

After rejecting the report of Caleb and Joshua, the whole congregation prepared to stone them. But the glory of the Lord appeared before the tabernacle (Numbers 14.10). The Lord asked Moses, “How long will this people refuse to believe in me?” Then the Lord made an outrageous statement to Moses: “I will disinherit them and make of you a nation greater than them” (Numbers 14.11-12). This was the second time that the Lord threatened to abandon the Israelites. When Moses came down from the mountain (carrying the Ten Commandments) and saw the people worshiping the golden calf, the Lord wanted to give the people up (Exodus 32.10). On both these occasions, Moses became an intercessor for the people. Moses made two arguments. First, if the Lord left the people in the desert, word would get back to Egypt and everyone would accuse the Lord of failing to deliver the people to Canaan as promised (Numbers 14.13-14). And so, for God’s own name’s sake, the people must reach the Promised Land. Second, Moses appealed to God’s own character. In Exodus 34.6-7, God described the divine character as “merciful, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Now, take note of God’s resolution. God rendered a judgment and showed mercy. The judgment was that those who did not want to conquer Canaan would die in the wilderness. The mercy was that the children, whom those unbelievers sought to protect, would enter and take the Promised Land, enabled by the power of the Lord. The Lord would be faithful to a new generation despite the unfaithful actions and consequences of the first generation.

Reverend Steven B. Lawrence

{tag_author}

Thoughts

Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2019

13Nov

A people is the purpose of our relationship to GOD, not a person. Some Christians would have a religion where He (GOD) will bless me personally in the context of all that is wrong, but not challenge me to address and change what is wrong. We want GOD to bless us individually while others are not blessed.

Sermon: What Do You See? - Pastor William J. Shaw

{tag_author}

The Gist of the Church School Lesson

Posted Monday, November 11, 2019

11Nov

Faithful Despite Unfaithfulness

Lesson: Numbers 13.1, 2, 17, 18, 25-28
Read: Numbers 13.1—14.10a

And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us; it flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Yet the people who live in the land are strong, and the towns are fortified and very large; and besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there.”
Numbers 13.27-28 (NRSV)

In Numbers, Chapter 10, the people of Israel departed from Mount Sinai. By Chapter 13 they were close enough to the Promised Land to send out spies. Twelve leaders, one from each tribe, covered the land with specific instructions to evaluate the towns, the land and the people (Numbers 13.17-20) and even to bring back samples of the produce. They came back with a cluster of grapes it required two men to carry! But, the inhabitants of Canaan were formidable. There were two reports. Joshua and Caleb said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” The other ten leaders said, “We are not able to go up against this people, for they are stronger than we” (Numbers 13.30-31). Before the whole camp could hear both sides, those ten brought their unfavorable report to the people (v. 32). The congregation wept and cried out against Moses and Aaron, even suggesting they elect a new leader to take them back to Egypt (14.1-3). If not for the intercession of Moses, the Lord would have destroyed his people in the desert and made a new people from Moses (v. 12). Instead, only Joshua, Caleb and all those under the age of twenty would be preserved (v. 29). And since the spies sought out the land for forty days, the unfaithful Israelites would wander for forty years (v. 33-34). The “little ones” they sought to protect from the dangers of Canaan would be the very ones God would deliver into the land (v. 31).

The unfaithful Israelites feared Canaan. They did not believe they could overcome its perils. They were right. Caleb tried to remind them that, with God, they could possess the land. When they doubted that fact, they doubted God’s power and God’s promise to bring them into the Promised Land. God does not quit us when we quit. God is faithful despite unfaithfulness.

Reverend Steven B. Lawrence

{tag_author}

Verse for Reflection

Posted Saturday, November 09, 2019

09Nov

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,

Ephesians 1:18