Day 62 (March 3): Israelites show doubt, God stands beside Caleb and Joshua, Moses pleads for Israelites, God takes away Promised Land from complainers, rules for offerings, penalty for breaking the Sabbath, tassels have meaning

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions, discover the purpose for our lives and give Him the glory.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  Take the challenge.  You won’t regret it.  Let us know if you have any comments to share.

Numbers 14-15

Questions & Observations

O. (Numbers 14:6): Rob has answered the subject of tearing of clothes (discussed on Jan 19th, Day 19 in our reading of Job 1-4).  It has been done numerous times thus far in the Bible in acts of mourning or distress.

O. (Numbers 14:17-19): I am amazed at the close relationship between God and Moses.  Moses reminds Him of His love for His people and His forgiveness for their sins.  This reminds me of disciplining children.  God takes the Promised Land away from most of them because of their grumbling.  I would think they would know by now how serious He is.

Q. (Numbers 14:30): So Caleb and Joshua are the only Israelites who will enter the Promised Land?

A. What it says is that, of the generation who was 20 years or older in the census from our earlier reading, only these two men (remember that this includes both Moses and Aaron!) will enter the Promised Land.  The rest of the company will die.  If we remember our significance of the number 40 in scripture, one of the things that 40 stands for is a mark of a generation.  So basically, by having the people spend exactly 40 years in the wilderness, what the Lord is essentially doing is cutting off the unfaithful generation and giving the Promised Land to their children.  Joshua, who will lead after Moses, will not only enter the land, but will be handsomely rewarded when the land is divided up.  The same is true for Caleb.  Truly this is a prime example of the importance of having faith in God’s ability to keep His promises.

O. (Numbers 14:39-43): This reminds me of my 4-year-old.  I ask her to do something and tell her what the punishment is for disobeying, she disobeys anyway and then says sorry after she gets in trouble.  She backpedals and tries to make it right so she can get the prize.  The Israelites realized they disappointed God and charged on to try to make it right.

Q. (Numbers 15:30-36): These two sections — the rules about “brazen” violations of the law, and the punishment for a man who actually does so — seem related.  Are they?

A. Yes.  I would say this is a good example of the text setting up a particular scenario. Basically, people are being reminded what a particular rule is — in this case knowingly violating the Lord’s commands — and then having that scenario acted out.

O. (Numbers 15:37-41): I never knew tassels had a special meaning!

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