Today’s reading from Numbers comes on the heels of the most disheartening moment yet in Israel’s history. As a consequence of their lack of faith and disobedience, they will wait another forty years to enter the Promised Land. Their grumbling against Moses results once more in open rebellion and swift judgment from God.
In the midst of Israel’s failure to trust and obey, God provides a glimpse of mercy as he reaffirms his plan for them. Moses is given instructions for new offerings to be initiated “After you enter the land I am giving you.” God clearly is not finished with them yet! If they only trust and obey, Israel will still enter into their inheritance.
Like Moses, David was beset by the plots of evil men. In Psalm 37 he urges us not to worry but to “Trust in the Lord” (v. 3), “Commit your way to the Lord” (v. 5), and “Wait humbly for him” (v. 7). David boldly proclaims that “Those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land” (v. 9).
Like Israel, there will be many times when we stumble. If we turn to the Lord and repent of our sins, he is merciful and forgives us. When we face opposition and discouragement, the Word can remind us that he’s not finished with us yet!
An old hymn, “Trust and Obey” speaks this truth:
When we walk with the Lord in the light of his Word,
What a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his goodwill, he abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
-John Henry Sammis
Peter learned to trust and obey in the story of the miraculous catch of fish. Encouraging him to fear not, Jesus invited Peter to join him on the journey that would change everything for all people. In obedience, Peter chose to leave all else behind and follow Jesus.
Do you believe that God’s divine purpose will be accomplished through the faithfulness of his people? Jesus has called us to continue the story of his grace and salvation for all people. God has a plan for each one of us, and he will abide with us still. All we must do is trust and obey.
Congregant, Trisha’s husband, father of five “sons of thunder.”