Going It Alone, or Trying to Anyway (Numbers 4:39–45)
Some of the Israelites eventually saw the error of their ways — more or less. Sadly, though, it was too late for them as individuals to receive what God had promised His people. Still, they made plans to head into Canaan on their own. What';s worse for them is that they didn';t recognize that attempting to go into Canaan now was suicide. The reason? Moses explained to them:
But Moses said, “Why are you now disobeying the Lord';s orders to return to the wilderness? It won';t work. Do not go into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the Lord is not with you. When you face the Amalekites and Canaanites in battle, you will be slaughtered. The Lord will abandon you because you have abandoned the Lord.” (Numbers 4:41–43)
God had kept these people under His protection, given them direction, and provided for them everything they needed to take and keep the Promised Land of Canaan. But in spite of all that, they listened to the voices of those who didn';t represent the Lord, gave into their fears rather than trusting in God, and rebelled against God';s appointed leaders (and, therefore, God Himself).
Joshua, one of the two faithful spies who attempted to encourage the Israelites to take the Promised Land, later took the mantle of leadership for the people after the death of Moses. Before his death, Moses gave Joshua a public ceremony to name him leader. (See Deuteronomy 31:23.)
They had everything they could have wanted or needed, and they made the fatal mistake of not staying in that safe, secure place trusting and obeying the God who had proved himself far more than worthy of that trust and obedience. Consequently, not only would all of the adult Israelites who were present at Kadesh end up dying in the wilderness having never seen the Promised Land, but some of them would foolishly try to move into Canaan — despite what the Lord had told them. Again, they would pay a price for their disobedience, this time suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of the people who presently lived in the land of Canaan.
While Caleb and Joshua would have to spend another forty years in the wilderness with their rebellious and faithless brothers and sisters, they would eventually be among the first of the nation of Israel to actually possess the Promised Land.
In fact, if you read and study the book of Joshua, you will see that he became one of the great spiritual and military leaders in the history of the people of Israel — and a man who holds his place in the faith Hall of Fame.
According to Moses';s words to the Israelites who were planning to enter Canaan on their own, why was God no longer going to be with them in this endeavor?
What “giants” in your life are you focused on that keep you from obeying and enjoying what God has for you?