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December 29, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Revelation 13-16
Audio: Revelation 13-16

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Numbers 14 (ESV)

Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night.And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the people of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” 10 Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel.

11 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

13 But Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for you brought up this people in your might from among them, 14 and they will tell the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you, O Lord, are in the midst of this people. For you, O Lord, are seen face to face, and your cloud stands over them and you go before them, in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if you kill this people as one man, then the nations who have heard your fame will say,16 ‘It is because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to give to them that he has killed them in the wilderness.’ 17 And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying, 18 ‘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.’ 19 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.”

20 Then the Lord said, “I have pardoned, according to your word. 21 But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, 22 none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, 23 shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it. 24 But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it. 25 Now, since the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valleys, turn tomorrow and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.”

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 27 “How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. 28 Say to them, ‘As I live, declares the Lord, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: 29 your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, 30 not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. 31 But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected. 32 But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness.34 According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, a year for each day, you shall bear your iniquity forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’ 35 I, the Lord, have spoken. Surely this will I do to all this wicked congregation who are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die.”

36 And the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing up a bad report about the land— 37 the men who brought up a bad report of the land—died by plague before the Lord. 38 Of those men who went to spy out the land, only Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive.

39 When Moses told these words to all the people of Israel, the people mourned greatly. 40 And they rose early in the morning and went up to the heights of the hill country, saying, “Here we are. We will go up to the place that the Lord has promised, for we have sinned.” 41 But Moses said, “Why now are you transgressing the command of the Lord, when that will not succeed? 42 Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, lest you be struck down before your enemies.43 For there the Amalekites and the Canaanites are facing you, and you shall fall by the sword. Because you have turned back from following the Lord, the Lord will not be with you.” 44 But they presumed to go up to the heights of the hill country, although neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed out of the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and defeated them and pursued them, even to Hormah.

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Next: Numbers 15

Back: Numbers 13

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Why is the Lord bringing us into this land…Numbers 14:3a

    Loaded Question

    There is nothing wrong asking the Lord why He doing something or why He did what He did. But the congregation went way beyond a question and crossed the line into accusation. We learn in Numbers 14:1-2 the congregation "raised a loud cry", they "wept" and they all "grumbled against Moses and Aaron."

    To add insult to injury, they accuse God of setting them up for harm in Numbers 14: 3-5 asking, "'Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt? 4 And they said to one another, 'Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.'"

    So much for trusting God!

    So much for giving Him praise for delivering them from slavery in Egypt!

    Their lack of trusting God also caused them to question God for appointing Moses and Aaron (after all they have done). They said to one another Numbers 14:4, "Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt."

    Joshua and Caleb (who spied out the land) said to the congregation after tearing their close in frustration told the congregation the land of Canaan was "exceedingly good land" (Numbers 14:7) then proceeded to remind them that the Lord delights in them and will give them this land which "flows with milk and honey" (Numbers 14:8). In Numbers 14:9, they warned them not to rebel against the Lord or fear the people of the land because God removed their protection from the inhabitants of Canaan and the Lord is with them so there is nothing to fear. 

    Their response? "Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel" (Numbers 14:10). 

    So not only did they not approve of God's choosing of Moses, Aaron, they didn't like what Joshua or Caleb were saying so much they wanted to kill them. 

    After the Lord and Moses spoke to one another about the people's sinfulness and rebellion, we read that the people who brought the bad report, (Numbers 13:32-33), "died by plague before the Lord" (Numbers 14:37) while only Jacob and Caleb remained alive of all those who spied out the land of Canaan. 

    The chapter ends with the congregation mourning over what Moses told them. Early the next morning, they went up to the heights of the hill country, decided to go do the place the Lord promised after recognizing their sin (Numbers 14:39-40). 

    Moses told them not to go because the Lord was not with them because they turned back from following the Lord. He warns them they go, they will be struck down. 

    Instead of heeding Moses' warning, "they presumed to go up to the heights of the hill country, although neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed out of the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and defeated them and pursued them, even to Hormah" (Numbers 14:44). 

    It's okay to ask God for answers. God even understands our weak faith. He wants us to trust Him and in times of struggle, uncertainty and fear, our faith can be strengthened and our resolve in God deepened. 

    It's not okay to question God or worse, accuse Him of wrongdoing or slander His character. We may not understand all that He is doing but we should never sit in judgment of God or follow our own way when God's way is best. 

    Do you find it hard to trust God in all circumstances?

    Do you ever find yourself judging God and questioning His motives?

    Have difficult circumstances and life-challenges built your faith or cause you to lose faith?

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