The passage is about the people whom Moses led out of Egypt. God was not pleased with ‘most’ of them. That is, the majority. Paul chooses his word carefully, although, from the facts, we might not expect Paul to use that word.
Numbers 2:32 tells us that more than 600,000 adult men left Egypt. Among all those people, only two men remained loyal to God: Joshua and Caleb. They were the only ones whom God allowed to enter Canaan. Canaan was the country that God had promised to their nation.
Two men among 600,000 hardly seem to deserve a mention. We would probably say that ‘none of them pleased God’. But Paul does not say that, because he knows God’s opinion about the matter. In God’s opinion, those two men matter more than all the men who did not obey him. The Bible only tells us about those other men because God wants us to learn a lesson from their behaviour (10:11).
It is a sad fact that, in every age, most people have not obeyed God. The history of our churches shows that most church members care more about themselves than about God. Jesus compared a right relationship with God to a narrow path that few people find (Matthew 7:13-14).
However, God wants everyone to trust him (Revelation 22:17). He makes it possible for people to remain loyal to him (10:13). It is not too hard for us to obey God, because God is ready and willing to help us.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.