Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Can't Go into the Promised Land

By Mary Vee
Numbers 14:36-45

Moses' Thoughts

Unbelievable. 

Absolutely unbelievable. 

The entire camp listened to the terrible report of those ten spies yesterday. Caleb and Joshua did everything they could to convince our people not to listen to them. They raised their arms high begging the people, "Let's go now and take the land.  We have the Lord to fight the battles for us!"

But they wouldn't listen. How could our people be that foolish?

Were the plagues, Red Sea, manna, and quail that long ago? Why can't they remember what the Lord did for them?

I'm so frustrated.

Because the people refused to listen to Caleb and Joshua, God punished the ten spies with a plague. They're all dead, now. The entire camp mourned and wailed throughout the night. I'm not sure if the people cried more for the ten men who died or for their sin of disobeying God.

The next morning, I heard a large group from the camp head toward the top of the mountain. They raised their hands and shouted, "Here we are. We'll go into the Promised Land. We have sinned. We'll obey this time and go into the land."

I can't believe my ears. Won't they ever understand God's power? He told them His decision: No Promised Land for anyone age twenty and older. I better go warn them, again.

I grabbed my staff and walked to the front of the group and raised my staff to quiet them.  "Now, why do you sin against the command of the Lord? This isn't going to work. Don't you realize you'll be defeated in the Promised Land because God won't be with you? The Amalekites and Canaanites will come against you with their swords. You will die because the Lord said He won't not go with you."

Do you think they would they listen to God's message this time? No.

They formed an army to send into the Promised land. I refused to go with them and there was no way I'd let them take the ark of the covenant either. 

Later, a few survivors straggled back to the camp.  I gave them water then had them report to the people. They wiped their foreheads and gasped for breath. "Moses was right. We didn't have a chance. The Amalekites and Canaanites came against us with their swords. We alone survived." 

Our people finally realized the Lord meant what He said. All the people age twenty and over wept the rest of the night.

*****************
1. What happened to the ten spies?
2. What punishment did God give the children of Israel who were twenty years old and older?
3. What did the people decide to do, hoping to fix the problem?
4. What happened to their army? 
5. Why did the people age twenty and over cry?
6. What did you learn from this story?

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