“But among these there was not one of those listed by Moses and Aaron the priest, who had listed the people of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. For the LORD had said of them, “They shall die in the wilderness.” Not one of them was left, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.” Numbers 26:64-65
There are two censuses taken in the Book of Numbers. The significance of the first is to show the fulfillment of God’s promise of nationhood to Abraham. The second is to show the fulfillment of a different promise. Between the first census and the second census, the generation of men and women who were lead out of Egypt grumbled constantly, rebelled against Moses and God, and whored after foreign women. Because of their sins God made a promise: none of them, except for Caleb and Joshua, may enter into the promise land. At the close of the second census, I can only imagine the amazement of the Levites who conducted it. No one was left from the first generation. Because of their sins God killed them all or caused them to wander long enough for them to die, and the promise that was meant for them was given to their children. It seems as though when a generation of God’s people sin on a whole scale level like they did, God has no problem withholding his promised blessing for later. In the same way, the cost of sin for God’s people does not mean the abandonment of God’s promise or relationship, but it can often times mean the withholding of blessing for us. God can withhold blessings for a number of reasons: discipline, faith testing, because-he’s-God-and-He-wants-to, or because the sin present in our lives would tarnish and make void the blessing he wants to give us. We need to constantly be asking ourselves two questions. What sin is in my life that is keeping me from God’s blessing? And what sin in our generation is keeping God from moving the way he wants to in our midst? The cost of sin is death and the withholding of blessing, so let us repent and turn back to God, so that we do not get passed over for the next generation.
Lord Jesus, we repent of our individual and corporate sins of idolatry, lust, greed, pride, and selfishness. Please do not pass us over and withhold your blessing from us!