Lent Devotional: Numbers 14:11-25

by Jonathan Haefs

Numbers 14:11-25 (click here)
“And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying, ‘The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’ Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now.” (Numbers 14:17-19)

Israel sinned in the desert. They rejected God… again and again. God’s wrath toward their sin was completely just.

Yet… God raised up a man, Moses, to stand in the gap for this sinful people.

Moses cried out for grace because he knew that God was gracious. He called upon the very character of the Lord to be displayed toward his people. He asked the Lord to pardon iniquity, show his steadfast love, and graciously forgive. And, Moses asked all this for a people who even rejected and mocked him again and again.

We know this story… don’t we?

We sinned. We rejected the Lord…again and again. His wrath toward our sin was completely just.

Yet… God raised up a man, Jesus, to stand in the gap for sinners like us.

But Jesus didn’t have to cry out for grace, as God in the flesh he could give it himself! Jesus, the very embodiment of steadfast love took on our sin that we might be pardoned, graciously forgiven. And, Christ did all this even in the midst of us rejecting and mocking him. What wondrous steadfast loving grace is this?

“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

We have been shown great grace through Jesus. Now, like Moses, may we desire great grace be shown to others. May we stand in the gap for sinners like us and proclaim what they still need to hear… that there is a God who is steadfast love, who pardons iniquity, and who graciously forgives… his name is Jesus.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.