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Bible Study: Empowered to obey

NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.

Bible Passage: Numbers 13–14

Discussion Questions:

  • How have God’s promises strengthened you to obey His commands?
  • What role have godly leaders played in your life to help you obey the Lord and grow in your faith?
  • What are some ways we can encourage others to submit to God’s authority?

Food for Thought:

After the exodus, the giving of the law at Mount Sinai and the construction of the tabernacle, the Book of Numbers moves the narrative forward. The Israelites follow God’s leading into the wilderness on their way to the promised land. The early stages of this leg of their trip were marked with strife, however, as the people began to grumble and complain. Some of Moses’ own family members began to question his leadership. These events foreshadowed the trouble to come in the wilderness of Paran.

God’s people repeatedly responded with doubt and disobedience to their Savior, who had worked numerous signs and wonders. They trusted in what they could see rather than the God who had rescued them from captivity. They accused Him of leading them into the wilderness to die. And they rebelled against Moses’ God-ordained leadership.

Despite all of this, God was faithful. He led them to the land He prepared for them, a good land where they could find rest and peace. But when faced with the opportunity to enter and receive this blessing from God, they refused. They could only see the might of those already living in the land, and like those nations, the Israelites chose to be blind to God’s ability to hand them over to His people (Numbers 13:31–14:4).

It isn’t hard to find ourselves in the sandals of the Hebrews. Rebellion against God is as easy and as common as breathing. In fact, we could say it is natural to us as sinners.

God orders, God commands and God encourages. We turn away in fear, arrogance and disdain. Though we have seen God’s works throughout Scripture and in our own lives, though we have experienced firsthand the salvation of Jesus Christ, we can still find ourselves prone to rebel against our Creator and Savior God.

May we learn from the negative example of the Hebrews on the edge of the promised land, and may we turn away from our rebellion and turn instead to our God – Father, Son, and Spirit. He is faithful and forgiving, and He empowers our obedience.

The Gospel Project

The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at Lifeway.com/gospelproject.

    About the Author

  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources