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Forgiveness and Consequence

Words of Faith Final

Forgiveness and Consequence

Words of Faith 6-23-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Numbers 14

    [20] The Lord replied, "I have forgiven them, as you asked. [21] Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, [22] not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times-- [23] not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. [24] But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. [25] Since the Amalekites and Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea."

    [26] The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: [27] "How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. [28] So tell them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say: [29] In this desert your bodies will fall--every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. [30] Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. [31] As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. [32] But you--your bodies will fall in this desert. [33] Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert. [34] For forty years--one year for each of the forty days you explored the land--you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.' [35] I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this desert; here they will die."


       The forgiveness of the Lord does not always mean the removal of the consequences of our actions.  This is very clear in this situation. 

       There was the good news. The Lord determined not to destroy the nation of Israel and begin a new nation with Moses.  He forgave them. 

       The bad news was that none of the people who had treated the Lord with contempt would enter into the land of Promise.  That was simply the consequence of their actions.  Those who had seen the glory of the Lord and the miraculous sign and yet had accused God of abandoning them, would now pay a high price for that failure.  All people twenty years and older would die in the desert over the next forty years.  Only Joshua and Caleb would remain.  Why? Because they never stopped believing in the Lord.

       The Lord’s decision was not to create a different new nation but to use a new generation of this nation for the conquest of the of Canaan.  The wilderness journey would be a time of learning dependence upon God and shaping the character of the people in preparation for that conquest.

        There are several lessons here.  Foremost is the realization that although the Lord may forgive sin, there often is a consequence to sin that will not go away.  We see this in simple personal ways.  People are often forgiven, yet they must still serve a prison sentence.  People may be forgiven, yet they must live with the brokenness they have created in their family.  People may be forgiven, yet some debts and reparations must be made.  The Lord forgave King David but would not allow him to build the Temple because there was blood on his hands.

          Another lesson is to realize that the goal of God for us is complete trust and dependence upon Him.  The Israelites resisted this repeatedly and therefore had to spend a generation in the wilderness learning the lesson.  An entire generation was excluded from entering the wonderful blessing that God had for them in that place.  Hopefully, they entered into a different kind of blessing that was relational rather than geographical.

         Are you suffering the consequence of sin?  Have you been wondering why it is that you are forgiven, and yet you must still bear some consequence?  The Bible teaches that there is a purpose in that consequence.  God has allowed it for a reason. 

         The big purpose of God is that you will be transformed into the image of Christ.  God's goal is that you will become more and more like Jesus every day.  The Bible declares that in all things, God works toward this good goal.  This is the purpose of God (Romans 8:28-30).

          The real goal in life is not a place of blessing but a relationship of blessing in which we are more like Him.  God is using this time and circumstances of life to shape you into who He wants you to be.


           Father God, thank you for Your unfailing love.  Thank you for Your grace and mercy.  Thank You for Your forgiveness extended to me.  Thank You for the consequence of my sin by which You are changing and transforming me.  Make me into the person You designed me to be.  Make me more like Jesus.  In the name of Jesus, I pray.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.