Numbers 14:20-45

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord's Judgment for the People's Unbelief

Numbers 14:20-45

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Lesson Number 18

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Entrance into the Land cannot be obtained when there is unbelief.
  2. Entrance into the Land cannot be obtained when there is presumption.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t water down the Red Sea.


  1. How did God answer Moses’ prayer?
  2. Why did the Israelites have to be punished if their sins were forgiven?
  3. Will any of the children of Israel, who died in the wilderness, be in heaven?
  4. How does Ephesians 1:3 relate to this lesson?
  5. How did the Israelites sin by trying to conquer the Land?


  1. He forgave the children of Israel, and did not wipe them out because of their sin.
  2. They had to face the consequences of their forgiven sin.
  3. Yes. Their sin of unbelief kept them from entering the Land. But they had believed in God for salvation earlier.
  4. The Israelites had believed in the one true God, but they did not believe His promise of blessing and provision. God has given us, as Christians, “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” But we must choose to accept and take advantage of these blessings.
  5. They sinned by presuming upon God. They presumed He would help them in their battle, although Moses warned He would not be with them.


  1. Although the Lord forgave the Israelites, they had to face the consequences for their sin by wandering in the wilderness. There are consequences for forgiven sin. Discuss this issue. Have you seen it to be true in your life? How has God graciously enabled you to handle the consequences of your forgiven sin?
  2. Read Ephesians 1 and list the spiritual blessings that God has given us in Christ. If you have believed on the Lord Jesus as your savior, these blessings are yours for the taking! Are you accepting the blessings and living like they are true? Remember, “Entrance into the Land cannot be obtained when there is unbelief.”


  1. Do you accept the miracles of God recorded in the Bible? He is the almighty God – don’t explain away His miracles to make them “more viable.” Take God at His word. Don’t water down the Red Sea.

Key Verses

  • “The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness.” Numbers 14:29
  • “But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop. Nevertheless, neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses departed from the camp.” Numbers 14:44

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