GOD COULD HAVE STARTED IT ALL OVER AGAIN
Leslie M. John
“The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.” Numbers 14:11-12
Man’s wickedness invited punishment when God brought huge deluge for forty days and forty nights during Noah’s period, saving only Noah and his family and select creatures; and destruction of cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone , saving only Lot.
But for the unconditional covenant the LORD made with Abraham, the children of Israel as a whole would have been destroyed for their repeated rebellion against the LORD. Each time He said He would not have any mercy on them Abrahamic covenant came into influence His decision and, therefore, chastised them and left them alone.
This reminds as to how God was angry with the children of Israel. God said He will not have mercy on them and He will not be their God, and yet when He remembers Abraham, He shows His undying love and mercy towards them. He calls them “Ammi” forgetting their rebellion.
“And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God”. (Hosea 1:6-9)
“Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah” (Hosea 2:1)
Exodus Chapters 14, 15, 16, 17 and Numbers 11-20 list their repeated rebellions and the LORD’s chastisement. God did not leave His servant Moses also from being chastised. Moses was a descendant of Abraham, and of the promised seed Isaac. Going by the strong words God used in Exodus 32:10 and Numbers 14:12 it is evident that the LORD would not have hesitated to start all over again, and would have focused only on the descendants of Moses alone as a nation for Him.
“Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” – Exodus 32:10
Interestingly, the LORD in His anger says, “How long these people treat me with contempt?” and still has compassion for them. The word “contempt” is a very strong word that meant they showed utter disrespect and indifference towards the LORD.
God could have simply wiped out the generations from Jacob, and focused only on the descendants of Moses; but alas! Ultimately Moses himself complained against the LORD and disobeyed God’s command, showing how frail and feeble man at his best is.
“I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.” – Numbers 14:12
However, Moses intercedes for the people of Israel and reminds God that if He destroyed the children of Israel, people who hear about it would mock that the LORD slaughtered His own people (cf. Numbers 14:13-22).
The power of the children of God lies in reminding God His promises, His loving nature and reputation among nations in order to reclaim our blessings in the LORD. Jesus promised everlasting life to all those who believe in Him, and He will not go back on His promise. That is the reason why Jesus Christ, who is the Lord and builder of the house, is considered as greater than Moses who was faithful servant in the LORD’s house (cf. Hebrews 1:1-14)