Yahweh said, “I have pardoned according to your word: but in very deed, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with Yahweh’s glory;(Numbers 14:20-21, emphasis added)
Moses is facing a serious problem. The people were lamenting their plight. They were complaining about everything and especially about God. The people were witnesses to God’s signs and wonders. They experience the hand of God and receive a great salvation through water. Yet, they rebel and they blame God for their situation. They demand a leader be selected from their group and that they return to Egypt. They perceive life to be better in Egypt. God speaks with Moses and asks, “How long shall I put up with this?” The people, God’s chosen people, are in open rebellion. Their hatred for God’s providence is stunning. God says, “I shall smite them with the plague and evict them, and I shall make you into a greater and more substantial nation than they (v. 12).”
Moses asks God to forgive His people. God hears Moses and God pardons them because of Moses’ word. God says something remarkable and proves the limitless depths of His mercy and of His love, “…all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.” Literally, “…all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.”
The Israelites are drawn back to a time in Egypt and under the yoke of Pharoah. They actively sin against God. They fight against His direction and they are determined to walk in their own will. He is willing to kill them for their disobedience and for their complaining. Moses becomes their intercessor, their advocate, and God hears Moses’ plea for his people. And, God forgives them because of Moses’ plea. Jesus nearing death on the cross at Calvary said to the Father, “Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Christ Jesus is our Intercessor; our Advocate. And, God forgives us because of Christ’s plea and because of Christ’s obedience.
God does punish His chosen people by allowing none of that generation of Israelites to enjoy or set foot on the promised land except two. Not even their intercessor, Moses, would touch the promised land. God pardons “all” the Israelites. “All the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.” God closed up the promised land to rebellious Israelites, but His promise to Abraham is still in force. “In his seed all the nations of the world shall be blessed.” God opens heaven to all His creation when Christ sacrifices His Life for our sins. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Christ Jesus is Lord and brings glory to the Father.
The advocate of universal reconciliation extols these verses as direct evidence; The Holy Word of God clearly states, “…all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.” Not a portion here and a portion there, but “all the earth.” Universal reconciliation teaches “all the earth” is being overwhelmed by His glory. There is not a reason to conclude that only a part of the earth will be filled, but “all the earth will be filled with His glory.” This is Impartial Grace.