Doing It Our Way

Deuteronomy 1:22 - And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.


I.    Our text is Deuteronomy 1:22, but the story of this generation’s final defeat is found in Number 13:1-2. 

A.     This is the last of a four stage rebellion.

1.       The four stages:

a.      11:1-3 - Unidentified complaining.

b.      11:4-35 - Complaining about the food.

c.      12:1-16 - Complaining about the leadership.

d.      13 and 14 - Complaining about the way.

2.       These four stages in no way end the complaining of Israel.

a.      In chapter 16, we find there is more complaining about the leadership.

b.      Every time Israel complains, they get in trouble.  This is the same way with us.  They didn't learn, and we don't learn. 

B.     In the beginning of Numbers, God establishes the order of Israel, and how he wants them to enter the promised land.  God leads the people slowly, preparing them in every step for the next step, but the people did not see God’s provision, or his leadership.  May God help us to see what God has done for us in the past, and to see his present leadership, as he leads us toward future goals. 

1.       Chapter 1 – God numbers the warriors of Israel, and exempts the tribe of Levi. 

2.       Chapter 2 – Arranging the tribes of Israel with Levi surrounding the tabernacle. 

3.       Chapter 3 – The service of the Levites, the redemption of the firstborn. 

4.       Chapter 4 – The work of the Levites in moving the tabernacle and numbering the Levite workers. 

5.       Chapter 5 – The beginning of the practical application of doctrine: the unclean removed, and hallowed things separated and the trial of jealously. 

6.       Chapter 6 – The laws concerning Nazarites, and how to bless Israel (verse 22-27). 

7.       Chapter 7 – The offering of the princes of Israel, and (verse 89) God speaks to Moses from the mercy seat. 

8.       Chapter 8 – Lighting the lamps of the tabernacle and consecrating the Levites. 

9.       Chapter 9 – Laws of the Passover and the “secondary” Passover and the cloud leads Israel. 

10.   Chapter 10 – God prepared two trumpets so all Israel would understand his clear commands.  Israel begins to travel, just as a small example of God’s leadership to them. 

11.   Chapter 11 – The people complain instead of rejoicing.  Of course there are difficulties, as there always will be, but our hope is in Christ, not in overcoming difficulties. 

a.      Numbers 11:1-3 - Unidentified complaining. 

b.      Numbers 11:4-35 - Complaining about the food. 

c.      Numbers 12:1-16 - Complaining about the leadership. 

d.      Numbers 13 and 14 - Complaining about the way. 

C.     Numbers 13:1-3 gives the record of the Lord agreeing to the terms established by the people of Israel. 

1.       Numbers 13 does not contradict with Deuteronomy 1, but established more details of the events. 

2.       It is a very common thing for invading nations to send spies into the land they desire to conquer. 

3.       Genesis 42:9 records that Joseph told his brothers they were spies sent by a country who desired to conquer Egypt.

4.       Just because somebody else does something is no reason we should do it. 

D.     Numbers 9:16-17 records the leadership of God, yet the people wanted to do it another way, and they failed. 

1.       The entire congregation was agreed, and God allowed them to go, but it wasn’t the Lord’s will for them. 

2.       God could have lead Israel directly into the promised land, but instead took them by way of the Red Sea, so he could prove to them once again that he was going to take care of them.  Exodus 13:17-18 states, And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: 18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. 

3.       Even after the victorious Red Sea crossing, and the final defeat of Egypt, Israel still did not want to do as God directed, but chose instead to follow their own thoughts and be like all the other nations. 

E.      It is natural for us to do what others do, and we are influenced by the world in more ways than we know. 

1.       Often we don’t look to God’s word for answers, but want answers for ourselves that seem logical and fitting to us. 

2.       Almost Home: Do they make it? - Mark 12:34 – And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question. 

F.      God will allow us to do that which is in our own minds to do, and will not restrain us, but will even grant authority to that which he knows will cause our ultimate failure! 

1.       God granted Israel a king, even though it was against his will for them. 

2.       This shows us God does not desire us not to use our minds in service to him, but we must always proceed by faith – as without faith it is impossible to please God. 

3.       All our plans are very ineffectual if not accompanied with faith. 


II.    What lets me know Numbers 13 is not God’s command is that God doesn’t do anything as a man would do it, and God had already established his leadership over Israel in the cloud by day and the fire by night. 

A.     Isaiah 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

B.     The way to win your enemies:

1.       Matthew 5:38-48:

a.      Matthew 5:38-39 – Do not resist evil, but turn the other cheek. 

b.      Matthew 5:40 – If someone sues you for your coat, give him your cloak also. 

c.      Matthew 5:41 – If someone compels you to go a mile, go with them two miles. 

d.      Matthew 5:42 – Give to a person whatever they ask, knowing God will provide for you. 

e.      Matthew 5:43-38 – Love your enemies and earnestly pray for God’s blessing on them – that is God’s way. 

2.       Christ died on the cross, suffering at the hands of wicked men to bring salvation and eternal life to us.