THE LIFE OF MOSES – LESSON 34
ISRAEL’S TENTH TEMPTATION
Moses overcame the challenge to his leadership authority from his two older siblings through God’s intervention. Now he was about to face a major insurrection as the entire nation of Israel was about to rebel and choose a new leader.
Israel broke camp and pitched camp in the wilderness of Paran at Kadesh-barnea. This was near the southernmost edge of Canaan. They had finally arrived, and it was time to begin preparation to invade Canaan and take possession. Two years had passed.
In order to form a plan of invasion, they needed much information about the land, its cities, and its people. A scouting party was needed to do that. Moses chose the chief ruler of each of the twelve tribes to do the reconnaissance. These twelve scouts (spies) spent 40 days searching out the land. Upon returning, ten of the spies gave a very good report of the land, but an evil report of great walled (fortified) cities and a large population of giants that were eight to ten feet tall. (I base this on Goliath’s size.)
The people were terrified at the evil report of ten of the scouts. Only Joshua and Caleb gave positive reports. Moses was ready to invade the land based on God’s instructions and Joshua and Caleb’s report (Numbers 13). The people rebelled and refused to go. In Numbers 14:4 they spoke of choosing a new leader to take them back to Egypt. Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb were greatly distressed over it.
The LORD was so angry with the people that He told Moses in verse 12 that He was going to smite those that rebelled with pestilence and disinherit them entirely and then make a new and greater nation from Moses. Moses interceded on their behalf and God relented. This was the tenth time the people had “tempted” God. Egypt had tempted Him ten times until He was done with them. Now Israel had tempted Him ten times and He was ready to be done with them also (ten is the number of completion). It would have happened except for Moses’ intercession for them.
However, punishment did come. The ten spies died of pestilence as did some others. The Amalekites and Canaanites made war and smote them. God decreed that all males aged twenty and above would die in the wilderness without ever setting foot in Canaan.
Israel had rejected God’s plan and faced consequences. We must also be careful to accept and follow His plan lest we suffer the consequences. How do we know His plan? It comes by studying His written word, the Holy Bible.
Sadly, most professing Christians rarely, if ever, study their Bible. They rely on what others say about it. How would they know if the “others” are right? (Pastors, preachers, teachers, prophets, etc.) You must know for yourself.
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