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v1-2 God tells Moses to send spies into the land. This is interesting because in Deuteronomy 1:21-25 says that the people asked Moses if they could send spies. So the people probably asked 1st and then God told them to do it.
v16 “and Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Joshua” – For some reason I have been noticing the discipleship relationship between Moses and Joshua a lot more as I read. Moses is training his replacement. In 11:28 we see that he was Moses assistant since he was young “And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth”. In Exodus 24 Joshua goes with Moses up to the mountain of God, not even the elders or Aaron did that.
10 of the 12 spies bring back a bad report and the people moan and groan about it. But Joshua and Caleb try and convince them to take the land because God is on their side, they say “Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us, do not fear them”. I want that. I want to think like that. I want to talk like that. I want to live courageously for God like that.
v13ff – Also in this chapter you see how Moses interceded for the people. They are a rebellious people. They do not treat Moses kindly. Yet Moses is a faithful shepherd of God’s people. He is always concerned for the people and for God’s reputation, he is rarely if ever concerned about himself or his reputation. Moses is a faithful shepherd.
v.17-19 Moses intercedes by using God’s Word, God you have said this and because you cannot lie or deny yourself you must do it. As one of the Puritans used to say “God loves to be sued by His own law”.
v37 the spies who brought back a bad report all die of a plague except Joshua and Caleb. That would have provided some clarity.
Israel realizes they made a bad decision and try to go fight but the LORD was not with them and they lost. Amazing, when the LORD is with you no foe is too great, when the LORD is not with you even a small force can defeat you. Reminds me of Samson after his hair was cut and “he did not know that the LORD had left him” and he was captured. When the LORD was with him he defeated huge multitudes but when the LORD left him he was powerless.
Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many wicked.
The naive follows the adulterous woman like an ox to the slaughter or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool.
As a bird hastens to the snare, so too with the naive, he does not know that it will cost him his life – sin is so blinding
From the 6th hour to the 9th hour darkness covered the land. There is a respected theory that this is when a Jesus actually born the wrath of God in His body. The main support being that at the 9th hour Jesus cries out “My God My God why have you forsaken Me? ” Other support for this view is that God often in pictured as coming in darkness and clouds.
Jesus breathed His last and the veil of the temple was torn from TOP to BOTTOM, the sequence is important. Not from bottom to top. A new and living way has been inaugurated a la Hebrews 10:19-25
James the less was at the cross, that’s the LORD’S brother James who would later write the letter of James. What’s interesting is that Jesus entrusts the Apostle John with the care of His mother not His actual brother James who was also there. This gives us reason to believe that James was probably still not believing at this point, just an assumption, otherwise why entrust Mary to John?
Miriam the sister to Moses dies. This is the same little girl that watched baby Moses floating on the Nile river and had the courage to approach the daughter of Pharaoh and offer to find a nurse. She also was called a prophetess and lead the women in song. She had a few bad encounters with Moses and God struck her with leprosy and then Moses prayed for her. She has now died. It’s interesting to think about the familial relationship aspect of Moses Aaron and Miriam.
The people of Israel complain again and tell Moses that their inevitable death is his fault and Egypt was better. So often I am just like them, complaining against God while He is providing for me.
Per usual Moses and Aaron run to the LORD and as is their practice the fall on their faces before the LORD.
God tells Moses to speak to the rock, but instead He hits it not once but twice. This is an act of outright disbelief and disobedience. Because of it, Moses will not lead the people into the land.
Aaron dies. Aaron had been Moses ministry partner their whole lives. They saw some amazing things and the LORD taught them many things. Though not always the most loyal Aaron seems to be the best friend Moses had. Aaron made the golden calf and had a couple of missteps but overall a faithful servant. The first high priest, the standard bearer on that office. I’m sure this was a tough loss for Moses. The people wept for 30 days over Aaron.
As a judgment against the people the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people. The LORD told Moses to make a bronze serpent and put it on a standard and it shall be that everyone who has been bitten, when they look at the Bronze serpent they will live. This is a foreshadow used of Christ. Just as this standard is lifted up for people to look at and be healed so too Christ was lifted up that all who look to Him will be saved.