While this may have seemed like a shallow threat we read on to discover that God does follow through with His promises.
Reference: v.64 Moses and Aaron the priest had counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai, but no one Moses counted on the plains of Moab was in the first counting. (NCV Bible)
Explore: As a parent I have been guilty of throwing out a shallow threat. This is where I’ll say to my daughter something like, “If you don’t clean up that bathroom then you won’t be able to go out with your friends.” While this may be a natural consequence of her disobedience, we both know that it would take more than a dirty bathroom for me to actually follow through on that threat. But those words leave my mouth when I am frustrated about lots of other little things and the dirty bathroom is just an easy target. If I took a deep breath in and calmed down from my frustration, I would find that I’d be a lot more level headed.
Application: After the Israelites had complained over and over again about being in the desert, they then started talking about heading back to Egypt. The Lord got so angry that He said none of them would enter into the Promised Land (Numbers 14:23). While this may have seemed like a shallow threat, we read on twelve chapters later to discover that God does follow through with His promises. Our God isn’t rash and does not fly off the handle easily, and so His ‘threats’ are to be taken seriously. He isn’t like me, who can make a shallow threat easily about my daughter’s laziness, but He does allow consequences that teach us to be better people.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You are a God of Your word. May we strive to be more like you as we consider carefully what we say. Amen.
Do you tend to make shallow threats?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.