AudioEvangelism.com - Practical Lessons from Numbers (Part 2) Practical Lessons from Numbers (Part 2)
Our next practical lesson from Numbers is this:

4. REAL LEADERS ARE NOT ENVIOUS OF OTHERS WHOM GOD BLESSES WITH LEADERSHIP ABILITIES.
Numbers 11:29 - "Then Moses said to him, 'Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the LORD's people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!'"
Joshua exhorted Moses to rebuke those who were prophesying in the camp. But why? Was Joshua zealous for Moses' sake? Moses was a humble man and wished God's prophetic Spirit upon them all. He wasn't selfish or envious when God blessed others. Today, real men of God can rejoice in the success of others (cf. Rom. 12:15).

5. SOMETIMES LEADERS MAKE MISTAKES THAT HAVE SIGNIFICANT LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES.
Numbers 13:2,31-33 - "'Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them'...But the men who had gone up with him said, 'We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.' And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, 'The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.'"
The spies sent out were all leaders, but they made a terrible mistake in trusting their eyes more than the great God who had already brought them so far (cf. II Cor. 5:7). No mortal leaders are infallible. When they stray from God's way, do not follow them in their sins or you will share in their consequences.

6. WHEN FAITH IN GOD IS LACKING, PUNISHMENT IS NOT FAR BEHIND.
Numbers 14:11 - "Then the LORD said to Moses: 'How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?'"
The Israelites were without excuse. God had proven Himself abundantly to both them and the Egyptians. Yet, they still doubted and complained! Their lack of faith would lead to punishment. Such is still true today (cf. Heb. 11:6).

7. OBEDIENCE THAT IS TOO LATE IS DISOBEDIENCE.
Numbers 14:39-45:

"Then Moses told these words to all the children of Israel, and the people mourned greatly. And they rose early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, 'Here we are, and we will go up to the place which the LORD has promised, for we have sinned!' And Moses said, "Now why do you transgress the command of the LORD? For this will not succeed. Do not go up, lest you be defeated by your enemies, for the LORD is not among you. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword; because you have turned away from the LORD, the LORD will not be with you.' 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. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormath."
After rebelling against God initially and hearing Him declare their punishment of wandering for decades in the wilderness, they decide that they will obey after all and conquer Canaan. The problem is that now God was no longer going to support that effort (and they couldn't take Canaan without His help). They rebelled again and failed miserably. Obedience that is too late is disobedience! How many will leave this life only to plead and beg for a second chance? It will be too late then (cf. Heb. 9:27; II Cor. 6:2).