when Moses said to the children of Israel, That because they would not go up to possess the land when God would have them, therefore, for ever after, God did bar them out from thence, though they prayed they might, with tears (Numbers 14:36,37, etc.).
36 And the men whom Moses sent to search the land, who returned and made all the congregation grumble and complain against him by bringing back a slanderous report of the land,
37 Even those men who brought the evil report of the land died by a plague before the Lord. [Hebrews 3:17-19; Jude 5-7.]
38 But Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among the men who went to search the land, lived still.
39 Moses told [the Lord's] words to all the Israelites, and [they] mourned greatly. AMP
178. As it is said in another place (Exodus 21:14), the man that sins presumptuously shall be taken from God's altar, that he may die; even as Joab
was by King Solomon, when he thought to find shelter there (1 Kings 2:28, etc.). These places did pinch me very sore; yet, my case being desperate, I thought with myself I can but die; and if it must be so, it shall once be said, that such an one died at the foot of Christ in prayer. This I did, but with great difficulty, God doth know; and that because, together with this, still that saying about Esau would be set at my heart, even like a flaming sword, to keep the way of the tree of life, lest I should taste thereof and live. Oh! who knows how hard a thing I found it to come to God in prayer.
14 But if a man comes willfully upon another to slay him craftily, you shall take him from My altar [to which he may have fled for protection], that he may die. AMP
1 Kings 2:28
28 When the news came to Joab, for Joab had followed Adonijah though he had not followed Absalom, [he] fled to the tent (tabernacle) of the Lord and caught hold of the horns of the altar [before it]. AMP
179. I did also desire the prayers of the people of God for me, but I feared that God would give them no heart to do it; yea, I trembled in my soul to think that some or other of them would shortly tell me, that God had said those words to them that He once did say to the prophet concerning the children of Israel, 'Pray thou not for this people,' for I have rejected them (Jeremiah 11:14). So, pray not for him, for I have rejected him. Yea, I thought that He had whispered this to some of them already, only they durst not tell me so, neither durst I ask them of it, for fear, if it should be so, it would make me quite beside myself. Man knows the beginning of sin, said Spira, but who bounds the issues thereof?
14 Therefore do not pray for this people or lift up a cry or prayer for them, for I will not listen when they cry out to Me in the time of their evil trouble. AMP
180. About this time I took an opportunity to break my mind to an ancient Christian, and told him all my case; I told him, also, that I was afraid that I had sinned the sin against the Holy Ghost; and he told me he thought so too. Here, therefore, I had but cold comfort; but, talking a little more with him, I found him, though a good man, a stranger to much combat with the devil. Wherefore, I went to God again, as well as I could, for mercy still.
181. Now, also, did the tempter begin to mock me in my misery, saying, that, seeing I had thus parted with the Lord Jesus, and provoked Him to displeasure, who would have stood between my soul and the flame of devouring fire, there was now but one way, and that was, to pray that God the Father would be the Mediator betwixt His Son and me, that we might be reconciled again, and that I might have that blessed benefit in Him that His blessed saints enjoyed.
182. Then did that scripture seize upon my soul, He is of one mind, and who can turn Him? Oh! I saw it was as easy to persuade Him to make a new world, a new covenant, or new Bible, besides that we have already, as to pray for such a thing. This was to persuade Him that what He had done already was mere folly, and persuade with Him to alter, yea, to disannul, the whole way of salvation; and then would that saying rend my soul asunder, 'Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved' (Acts 4:12).
12 And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved. AMP
183. Now the most free, and full, and gracious words of the gospel were the greatest torment to me; yea, nothing so afflicted me as the thoughts of Jesus Christ, the remembrance of a Saviour; because I had cast Him off, brought forth the villainy of my sin, and my loss by it to mind; nothing did twinge my