Promise Keeper

God According to God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Numbers 14:1-25

Since we had a guest speaker last week, I want to refresh your memory of what we spoke about two weeks ago. We talked about “I Am” and had you finish that sentence. It was to show us that God is unique to everyone and your situation, your journey, your trials and tribulations, and your joyous moments. He wants each of us to know Him in our own unique way. It's like having your own personal parking spot. Never having to wait in line, because you have direct access to checkout. Knowing what number on your phone to push whenever you have to call a customer service line. A relationship and access that will be different than mine, your siblings, spouse, co-workers, and even neighbors. But He is whoever you need Him to be.
Our series God According to God continues as we listen to the story of God. Our base scriptures in Exodus 34:6-7, as God describes all the characteristics of Himself. Exodus 34:6-7
Exodus 34:6–7 (NKJV)
And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” The characteristics He wants to speak about today is “ Keeping mercy for thousands”
What He is saying is that I want you to know I’m going to keep my promise. In other words, I’m a Promise Keeper
Last time. we learned of a word describing God. “ Theophany” which means God can come in any form to anyone so that they can comprehend or discern. Now, I don't remember if I mentioned this, but this is an Old Testament word. Because that’s when God Himself was running things and establishing the covenants that we are blessed to benefit from. So let me be a little more explanatory of this. Not in years of BC vs. AD, but in bible book terminology. God the Father reigned from Genesis 1:1 to Malachi 4:6, Jesus the Son of God reigned from Matthew 1:1 to John 21:25, and lastly, the Holy Spirit picks up in Acts 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. So Theophany was the way that God chose to connect with His people in the Old Testament. So we understand a little bit more about the creator, all-power, all-seeing sovereign God. But wait, there is more He needs to share. In number 14, the Israelites are on the edge of the promised land, and 12 spies, returning from a scouting mission with their report two, Joshua and Caleb, came back with confidence that God would do just as he promised 10 of them came back with a bad report. The people are too big. We are too small and we just can’t do it. Hopeless. We are familiar with this text, but we need to go deeper into the voice of God. Have you ever come to a crossroads in life where you had to decide to listen to hear the voice of the faithful telling you to press on, or the doubters calling you to shrink back? Remember, the Israelites have seen the power of God, so will they trust the God who is leading them so faithfully thus far?
Exodus 3:15–16 NKJV
Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt;
Now, when God revealed Himself to Moses in preparation for bringing His people out of Egypt, He called Himself “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” in Exodus 3:15-16 He also instructed Moses to identify the Lord by that name when speaking to the Israelites (verse 16). In this case, the name carries a couple of important implications. First, when God identifies Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He clearly distinguishes Himself from the gods of Egypt in whose land the Israelites dwelt. Second, the reference to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob implies a reason for the Exodus: the promise of land. God had vowed that the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would inherit a certain geographical area. God’s faithfulness and Israel’s blessing were directly tied to Israel’s possession of the Promised Land, and the name God uses for Himself harkens back to the covenant with Abraham. Saying that God is a Promise Keeper. So God wants us to understand that at all costs this will happen. No country, no god with a little g, No king, no Pharaoh, no Satan, or people will interfere with him to fulfill this promise.
Before we get to this promise I want to stop and share some food for thought in the early part of this text. Moses has a prayer to kindle the anger of the Lord against his people. To ensure that we understand this passage
Verse 17-18- Corporate Sins
Corporate sins of the nation of Israel are unfortunately quite numerous in the Old Testament. Examples of such corporate sins can be seen in Israel's blatant sin of idolatry in Exodus 32-33 which was a breach of the Second Commandment given shortly before in Exodus 20:14.
Many of the other prophets were sent to address corporate sin within Israel. We are familiar with Jonah who was in the belly of the whale and brought a message of repentance to the city of Nineveh, which presumes the existence of a city-wide presence of sin and evil. Nineveh's repentance and submission to God also point out a solution to the problem of corporate sin. Verses 17-18 deal with Corporate sin, which in the church has generational consequences.
New Testament - Revelation 1 through 3 Christ encourages but also rebukes the seven churches in Asia for their good deeds and their sins. This shows the corporate nature of a church, both its ability to obey as a whole and to be disobedient as a whole. Be careful what we teach our children, because God will be checking
So now let's continue in Numbers 14:19-23
Numbers 14:19–23 NKJV
Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” Then the Lord said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lordbecause all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.
God says I want you to know what a promise means to me.
A promise can go a long way in personal relationships. It is a commitment to follow through on your word.
“I promise…” We have all heard this phrase time and time again. Regardless if it’s a promise for something small like washing the dishes or something big like stopping smoking, promises reinforce the integrity in relationships and help you get closer to those you love. Studies suggest that keeping promises holds a lot of emotional value and when we break them, there is a decline of trust. God knows how important it is to the overall relationship of His people. The physical and emotional connection that He wants to embrace and nurture. The reason He wants to share His story is because we don’t fully see through the scriptures how He operates. Look at the Quote from Elisabeth Elliot
God has never promised to solve our problems. He has not promised to answer our questions … He has promised to go with us.
Elisabeth Elliot
Every time God mentions the 3 names, He is saying “ I promise to stay true to my mission. Let’s break down how this mission was to be fulfilled.Genesis 8:15-17
Genesis 8:15–17 (NKJV)
Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”
In Genesis 9 , God blessed Noah and his sons, He commanded them to “ Be Fruitful and multiply fill the earth”
Genesis 9 (NKJV)
So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
The only way this can be done is you must go. The job or task of Noah and his sons was to go and fill the earth. A Farmer cannot water or fertilize his land by standing in one spot.
But two chapters later in Genesis 11:1-2 , Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.
THEY STOPPED moving and being fruitful on the earth. so God came down and confused their language and they scattered. Genesis 12:1-4 , Abram Departed, Then who we are talking about in this Numbers 14, Moses in Exodus 3 and 4 God sends Moses to tell Pharaoh to let his people go. Moses was reluctant because when he tried to save his people the first time and it didn’t go well for Moses when he killed the Egyptian. God did not get upset when Moses asked the the following questions:
1) “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” “Whom AM I?" is not the right question. Who cares who you are Moses but it is who God is.
2) What shall I say to them when they ask what is His name. God replies “Tell them...I AM has sent you.”
3) But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’ ”
What’s in your hand Moses? His staff he had for 40 years.
Ge 32:10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies.
Ps 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Moses had what he needed in his hand for over 40 years. The staff was a personal item. something you are comfortable with. Wow What’s in your hand that God has given you to further the Kingdom? And no its not a capital one card
4) O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.
5) Fatal response from Moses when he said “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses. The LORD didn’t get angry when he asked questions, the LORD reassured him that He will be with Moses and will give him everything he needs to succeed. The LORD became angry when he asked Him to send someone else.
Really, after all I’ve done for you and showed you with your staff you don’t trust or believe me and want me to send someone else.
Do you make any of the same excuses as Moses when God commands you to do something? The Lord will have the same problem with us if we don’t go do and obey and trust he will do it.
My excuses don't change who God is or God accomplishing his purpose.
Esther 4:14. Even if you don’t go speak for the Jews, make no mistake the Jews will be delivered by someone else but it’s in your best interest to go and obey.
So what have we learned? That
God is a God of Action
New Testament speaks of action in Matthew , Jesus tells us to Go Ye into all the world, teaching, preaching, and baptizing in His Name. He states that we should seek, we should Knock and the door will be open (
But why is it so important to keep a promise?
We believe that God is going to speak directly to us and tell us exactly what we need to do. But here’s the other side of things, when you begin to dwell, sit, miss opportunities, and give excuses as the people at the tower of Babel.
Read Numbers 14:19-24
Numbers 14:19–24 (NKJV)
Then the Lord said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord—because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.
Distrust is cured by meditating upon the promises of God.
John Calvin
He will move on to the next person. Don’t believe me ask King Saul, Ask the wandering children of Isreal. It reminds me of the song by rapper, I Believe, Ludacris, “Move, Get out of the way!!” Church it's going to happen with or without us. I chose to do what God asked me to do. Church we need Sunday school teachers so that we continue to move His work forward. we need people to help in the kitchen with our Wednesday meals so that we can be fed spiritually and physically. We need to bring back our youth ministry and children's Wednesday night bible class. Church if you haven’t noticed we have a lot of work to do. Look at the text
14:20–25. God’s promises are sure and steadfast and He had promised to save Israel and give them Canaan as an everlasting inheritance (Ex. 6:6–8). So it is obvious that His threat to destroy Israel and begin anew with Moses was as much a test of Moses, the covenant mediator, as it was anything else. God therefore pledged to forgive the people but pronounced that the entire adult generation which had participated in the Exodus and had witnessed all the other great signs and wonders He had performed on their behalf would never see the land of promise. The people had disobeyed and tested Him 10 times, the Lord said (Num. 14:22). This could be a literal number but, more likely, it means a great many times (cf. comments on Job 19:3). The exceptions were Caleb (Num. 14:24)) and Joshua (v. 30) because they obeyed the Lord without reservation. Not even Moses is mentioned for the omniscient Lord foresaw his future disobedience regarding the rock and water (20:12). Then, as part of the judgment, the Lord instructed Moses and Israel to resume the journey from Kadesh but not toward the valleys where the Amalekites and Canaanites lived. They now had to take the long and circuitous route toward the Red Sea, a route that eventually would end at the Plains of Moab, east of Jericho. The Red Sea here refers to the eastern arm of that sea, known today as the Gulf of Aqabah.

God Takes His Promises seriously

Do you remember the first time someone broke a promise to you? When a promise is broken, your reputation, relationships and personal integrity suffer. Take each promise you make seriously to ensure that you are not the one causing unnecessary distrust. The Children of Isreal where in bondage for over 400 years. They dwelt in one location, but they grew enormously. To show the people of Isreal that God keeps things going, even when we believe He has left us. God still is God, working no matter what because He takes his Job as the promise keeper serious. You may think things are going well or not. You think God is right on time even though we give him left overs.
Along this journey God is saying Shannon don’t get it twisted. I’m still in control of who sees and has the power to wipe out all those who are not deserving of this amazing promise.
Some things about God:
God is faithful to answer ALL our prayers! He’s a promise keeper!
“The Lord is faithful to ALL His promises and loving toward ALL He has made” Psalm 145:13.
We are familiar with the scripture in John 10:10 that tells us the thief (devil) comes only to “steal,” kill, and destroy our lives. He loves to steal our joy and peace by throwing “curve balls” in our lives to discourage us. But the good news is God has equipped us to rise above (with strength) any negative situation fighting against us. We are conquerors and overcomers!
“You, dear children, are from God and have “overcome” them because the one (Jesus) who is in you is greater than the one (devil) who is in the world” 1 John 4:4.
Do you feel your situation couldn’t get any worse? I encourage you to stand strong, keeping your focus on Jesus, not the problem facing you.
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