They survived all the plagues, and now youre going to wipe them out? God knows what He is going to do, and says to the nation, ''Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from 20 years old and upward, which have murmured against me'' Numbers In other words, ''You guys said you wished youd die; youre going to die. Your kids are going to grow up and go in. Moses was gone for 40 days; youre going to be in the wilderness for 40 years, until this unfaithful generation dies off!
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Only two in the entire group, Joshua and Caleb, survived to go into the Promised Land. Joshua was the military leader who took over after Moses. Caleb was his sidekick. Together, these two rout the most powerful group of nations on the earth at that time. Why does the Bible record all the things that happened during those 40 years?
The Scripture tells us it was for an example. These things happened to them for our admonition. Paul makes a point in 1 Corinthians that everything written then is for our application now. Every one of the events in Numbers has a lesson for us. And thats why it is so important to study this book in detail. The word ''example'' in Greek is tupoj tupos , which is ''a figure, an image, a pattern, a pre-figuring. Engineers speak of a prototype, which is from the same root.
Types are common in the Bible, where some event, some object, or some situation is a lesson, in advance, of whats coming. Manna is a type; the brazen serpent is a type; water from the rock is a type.
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Were going to examine these three. God provided a daily provision of manna. There were several million people wandering in the desert. Have you ever thought about how to feed them? It was a logistical nightmare! But God provided manna, a miracle bread from Heaven.
It was provided only on six days, with a double portion on the sixth to prevent it from having to be gathered on the Sabbath Day. Moses had to put up with the Israelites gripes and complaints throughout those 40 years. And its funny to hear him talk to God: ''I didnt ask for this job; you gave it to me! Moses prayed and God agreed to provide a remedy, but notice the remedy He chose: Moses was instructed to place a brass serpent on a cross-shaped pole and put it up on a high hill.
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Everyone who looked at the cross would be spared. Why this remedy? Jesus explained it in John 3 , ''As Moses lifted the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up on a cross.
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This is a prelude to the most famous verse in the Bible: John Its a strange symbol, the brass serpent. Brass means ''judged. Scripture says He was made sin for us. Sin was judged on that cross. As a result, the entire nation was made to wander in the desert for 40 years, until almost the entire generation of men had died. They were the only men from their generation permitted to go into the Promised Land after the time of wandering.
God had promised the Israelites that they would be able to conquer the land with its indigenous Canaanite nations. Moses instructed the spies to report back on the agriculture and lay of the land. However, during their tour, the spies saw fortified cities and resident giants, which frightened them and led them to believe that the Israelites would not be able to conquer the land as God had promised.
Ten of the spies decided to bring back an unbalanced report, emphasizing the difficulty of the task before them. They gave Moses this account, "We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are very powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large.
We even saw descendants of Anak there. Two of the spies — Joshua and Caleb — did not go along with the majority and tried to convince the Israelites that they could conquer the land:. Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it. However, the Israelite community believed the majority's conclusions. All of the spies, except Joshua and Caleb, were struck down with a plague and died. Joshua was at first a fierce warrior.
He was chosen as the representative from his tribe, Ephraim , to explore the land of Canaan, and was in agreement with Caleb that the Promised Land could be conquered. After the incident with the 12 spies, Joshua lived through the 40 year wandering period, and was named successor to Moses as instructed by God. Joshua completed the task of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land and of taking possession of it.
Joshua also was the leader in renewing the Mosaic covenant with their God. Caleb was from the tribe of Judah. He was also chosen to explore the land of Canaan, and he was along with Joshua the other man who said that the God of Israel could help the Israelite people to victory against the Canaanites. God promised Caleb and Joshua that they would receive the land which they had explored for themselves and their descendants.
In the Wilderness: The Doctrine of Defilement in the Book of Numbers - Oxford Scholarship
Caleb was also told that he would live to go into the Promised Land. The names of the twelve spies were: . The Lord heard them and became so angry that he destroyed the outer edges of their camp with fire. It appeared at night with the dew.
In the Wilderness: The Doctrine of Defilement in the Book of Numbers
In the morning the people would collect the manna, grind or crush it into flour, then boil it and make it into thin wafers. Moses heard them and was upset that they had made the Lord angry. I am your servant, Lord , so why are you doing this to me? What have I done to deserve this? You told me to nurse them along and to carry them to the land you promised their ancestors.
How can I take care of all these people by myself? You will no longer have to care for them by yourself. So tell them to make themselves acceptable to me, because tomorrow they will have meat. They turned against me and wanted to return to Egypt. Now they will eat meat until they get sick of it. How can you say there will be enough meat to feed them and their families for a whole month? Then he chose seventy respected leaders and went with them to the sacred tent. Then the Lord took some authority [ b ] from Moses and gave it to the seventy leaders.
But they did it only this one time. But when the Spirit took control of them, they began shouting like prophets right there in camp.