We Write the Narrative VI – By Pleasing God!

Bible Verse:
Numbers 14:1-9

Preacher:
James M. Moody

Date Preached:
10/30/2016


READING FOR WORSHIP GUIDE: Numbers 14: 1-9

Sunday 10/23 Proverbs Ch. 23; Numbers 14: 1-25
Monday 10/24 Proverbs Ch. 24; Numbers 14: 25-45
Tuesday 10/25 Proverbs Ch. 25; Genesis 4: 1-26
Wednesday 10/26 Proverbs Ch. 26; Matthew 11: 1-30
Thursday 10/27 Proverbs Ch. 27; Hebrews 10: 19-39
Friday 10/28 Proverbs Ch. 28; Hebrews 11: 1-22; I Kings 3: 1-15
Saturday 10/29 Proverbs Ch. 29; Hebrews 11: 23-40; Psalm 27: 1-14

By Pleasing God!

Numbers 14: 1-9 – That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloudAll the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Then Moses and Aaron fell face down in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

Placing verses 8 & 9, “If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” in their proper context, we find that Joshua and Caleb are not asking a question but responding to lack of faith demonstrated by their Hebrew brothers and sisters. A study of the words spoken by Joshua and Caleb reveal the following:

  1. The word “pleased” in Hebrew is rason; and in Greek eudokia. The same word is used in the New Testament as Jesus is praying to the Father in Matthew 11: 26 saying “…for this is what you were pleased to do.” The way we apply this concept in “everyday” terms is that “God is happy to do it”. “God wants to do it”. “Doing this for me is what makes God happy.”
  2. The word “Lord” in the passage is the Hebrew “Yahweh” which describes God as “I AM” in the first person. When used in the third person the name describes God as “HE IS”.

So we could rewrite Numbers 14: 8-9 this way, “Yahweh (He is) is already happy (pleased) to do this, to bring us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and it is Yahweh’s (He is) will to give it to us, so it’s already ours. 9Don’t blow this by rebelling against the Lord. And don’t miss Yahweh’s (He is) promise by ‘chickening-out’ in front of these folk, because we will eat them up. Their protection is gone, but trust that Yahweh (He is) is happily rolling with us. Don’t ‘chicken-out’ now in front of these guys.”

HOW DO I PLEASE GOD?

  1. Trust god!
    1. Joshua and Caleb were the only persons who trusted God to do what God said God would do. These men were the only adults to leave Egypt and actually enter the “Promised Land.”
    2. The way we please God is by trusting God to be who God says God is and to do what God says God will do!
    3. Trust is the active belief that God is who God says God is.
    4. This is the meaning of faith. Faith is the active participation in the identity of God.
  2. DESIRE TO PLEASE GOD OVER PLEASING SELF!
    1. Genesis 4: 2-5Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
    2. DeForrest Sories in his book “Meditations for Financial Freedom” speaks of how when his sons were young it was their desire to please him, their father. “From what they were wearing to how they performed in their classes and on the basketball court, their priority was to have the approval of Dad. As a result, they had me in the palms of their hands!
    3. The attitude of Sories’ sons seems to be the attitude that Able had toward God – a desire to please God more than a desire to please himself.
      1. What made the Lord look with favor on Abel’s offering? Abel’s desire to please God is why “…The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering…”
      2. What is the difference between Cain’s attitude toward God and Abel’s attitude toward God? Cain seemed to have God on his agenda while for Able, God was the agenda.
      3. Your desire to please God is the only way God can trust you with God’s favor!
      4. As with Joshua and Caleb at the edge of the “Promised Land”, if our motives are right, our rewards will be incredible.
  3. CALL ON GOD!
    1. 1Kings 3:9-10 – So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours? 10The Lord was pleased (received enjoyment, pleasure, or satisfaction; made glad or contented) that Solomon had asked this.
    2. Call on God!
    3. The Lord was pleased – “Pleased” is an emotional word. That means God is emotional.
    4. God is pleased to be called on just as a grandparent is pleased to be called on by a grandchild.
      1. Aivry saying, “Sirie, call Grandpa”
      2. I without thinking about it began to take up her case with her father.
        1. When my mother and father forsake me,
        2. Then the Lord will take me up (Psalm 27: 10)

PRAYER
“God, I want to shift my focus from what pleases me to what pleases you. Amen.”

 

INVITATION TO CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP

BENEDICTION

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

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