Daily Bible Study

Bible Reading: Numbers 14-15

Numbers 14:2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!

Every time I read these pages I am shocked all over again. That a people would be so blessed and provided for and yet turn against the very one who had given them those blessings and provisions boggles my mind. Of the twelve spies that went into the land to witness it’s wealth only two of them come back excited to possess it. The others lead a rebellion against the Lord actually. While their human target is Moses, it’s really God with Whom they are angry and murmur against.

Numbers 14:9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

Joshua does his best to quell the storm but the people are ready to stone him when the Lord descends to speak with Moses. That God has a limit to His mercy and grace is seen here. He is ready to “disinherit” them and cut them out. Once again Moses pleads on their behalf. He had invested so much time and strength into these people, he wants to see them prosper.

Numbers 14:19 Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.

And with that prayer the people are spared the wrath of God. The cost however is an extended stay in the wilderness and NEVER getting to enter the land of promise. Caleb and Joshua are the only two exceptions, everyone else is doomed to die in the desert! A small contingent tried to undo what they had done but to no avail. It makes me wonder how many blessings we have forfeited by our rebellious, ungrateful spirits?

Numbers 15 is the directions for some various offerings to the Lord with the exception of an event that happens in the course of giving the directions.

Numbers 15:32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.

This transgression was a known and wilful sin, and it was marked by unblushing boldness in broad daylight, in open defiance of the divine authority. His sentence was set by the King, the LORD Himself. He was to be stoned to death by the people outside the camp. This then was a warning to all who might also consider having their own way instead of God’s way. On the heals of this event the command was made to mark the bottom of their garments with a reminder, a “ribband of blue.” This would be another mark of distinction that they were God’s children. God’s people were not to mark their bodies, so the marks were their clothing.

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February 2018
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