GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
ENTERING GOD'S REST
By Keith L. Estes
We all remember the stories of Moses leading the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. How God, with His great strength, delivered them. How they crossed the Red Sea and were delivered from Pharoah and his army. How they were led from the scorching sun, by the cloud by day and from the darkness, by the pillar of fire by night.
All of these things were witnessed by the people, and now the time had come for Moses to lead them into the promised land. This was the land that was promised to Father Abraham. Remember God had spoken to him, "Get you out of this land, and away from your kindred, into a land that I will show you." And Abraham wandered from place to place looking for that land that God had promised.
Now, Moses had that golden opportunity, to lead the children of Abraham into that promised land. A decision was made to send ten persons into the land to find out what was in store for them. These ten, for forty days, made a trip of one hundred and fifty miles checking out the land and it's fruit and it's walled cities with the inhabitants therein. This was a time consuming venture and the people waited patiently to hear what the report would be.
Finally the day arrived when the ten returned with grapes on poles that needed two men to carry them. Joshua and Caleb reported "We can go in and take the land, it is a land flowing with milk and honey. God has given it to us, let us go and possess it!" "Not so," said the other eight, "There are giants in the land, we were like grasshoppers in their sight. And you should see those walled cities, no one could ever conquer them. There's no way we can enter this land. These people are stronger than we."
The congregation listened to the bad report and lifted up their voice, and cried; and thepeople wept that night. Then they started to murmur against Moses and Aaron. "Would to God that we had perished in the wilderness...the Lord brought us into this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should be a prey? It is better to return to Egypt! And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return to Egypt."
All of the pleading of Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb could not change their minds. It was open rebellion with the people calling for the stoning of Moses and Aaron. Moses however, interceded on behalf of the people, and asked God to pardon their iniquity. And the Lord said, "I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord."
The people had said they would have been better off if they had perished in the wilderness. So God gave to them what they thought was best for them. God said, "Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you,...from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, except Caleb and Joshua.
In the book of Hebrews we learn that it was because of unbelief that the people were not able to enter into God's rest.
Today the gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed for all people. To believe in and accept Him may mean beginning a new life of obedience. It may mean leaving employment that demeans others, it may mean a change of behavior and breaking the chains of bad habits. To trust in Jesus Christ may mean some hardships, and giants in our lives that have to be conquered, but to trust in Him also means that we enter into God's rest.
Reference: Numbers Chapter 14. K.J.V. of the Holy Bible.