I’m sure you know the story well of the ten scouts who by their negative report turned everyone against Moses. They all believed that they couldn’t go into the Promised Land because of the big giants. So God said everyone in that generation (except Joshua and Caleb) would die before they entered the Promised Land.
Fast forward 38 years and God has Moses count the people again (can you guess where this is recorded in the Bible?). If you compare the two lists, you will see that 1.2 million Israelites had died.
Let that sink in: 1.2 million dead in 38 years.
That’s 31,579 funerals per year.
Or 86 funerals per day.
Talk about mixed emotions! With every funeral the younger Israelites attended, they were sad for their loss but they also knew they were one step closer to getting out of the desert and into the Promised Land.
Every day they heard about deaths—86 of them every day.
What did these deaths remind them of? Maybe these two thoughts:
- Sin causes death.
- I’m just as capable of sinning as they were.
Every death should have been a reminder to them to stay as close to God as possible.
Every day I hear about divorce. This should be my reminder to cherish my wife every day.
Every day I hear about a pastor’s moral failing. This should be my reminder to pursue holiness passionately every day.
Every day I hear about pornography addictions. This should be my reminder to take every precaution I can every day.
When the Israelites heard about 86 deaths every day, they had to do something positive with that.
When I hear about divorce and sin and addiction, I cannot just shake my head and say, ‘Tisk, tisk,” but I must do something positive with it.
I must use every “death” as a reminder to move closer to God.