Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rejected in the Promised Land

By Mary Vee
Numbers 14:4-35

Moses' Thoughts

I saw it coming but I couldn't stop them.  
The twelve spies returned from the Promised Land. Ten reported giants. The news frightened our people.

They saw the large grapes, juicy pomegranates and figs. Still, the news of giant people caused them to rebel. I listened to them yell and weep all night long. Why bother speaking to them before they calmed down? Warm tears dripped down my face. 

Anytime the people quieted, one of the ten scared them more. By early morning the people cried, "Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should be victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?  Let us select a leader and return to Egypt."

"No!" Aaron and I fell on our faces before all the children of Israel. This had gone too far.

Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes. They ran to the front of the crowd and held their hands up to quiet the people. "Listen. The land we passed through as spies is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord is happy with us, He'll bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.' Only please, do not rebel against the Lord, or fear the people of the land, their protection has departed from them. But the Lord is with us. Do not fear them."

Their words did no good. The ten spies encouraged the crowd to stone Joshua and Caleb. The children of Israel became wild.
Then, before our eyes, the glory of the Lord appeared. I knew He wouldn't be pleased.

"How long will these people reject Me? How long will they not believe Me with all the miracles which I performed before their eyes. I will strike them down and make a mightier nation with you, Moses." 

I prayed to Him for a long time then said, "Please forgive the sin of this people according to the greatness of Your mercy."
The Lord answered: "I have pardoned according to your word. But because the children of Israel have seen My miracles in Egypt and the wilderness and have put Me to the test, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I promised to their fathers. 

"Only Caleb, Joshua and the little ones, whom the people said would be victims in the Promised land, shall enter the place which I promised to give. Forty years you shall live in the wilderness so you know My rejection for each day the spies were in the land. I the Lord have spoken this. I will surely do so."

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1. Who rejected the Lord?
2. What report did Joshua and Caleb give?
3. Who did the people choose to follow?
4. Where did the people want to go?
5. What punishment did God give them?

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