BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 26, Day 4: Deuteronomy 12-16

End Notes: My end notes will only cover the passages we are asked questions about. It is too many chapters to do in one week.

Summary of passages:  Deuteronomy 12:  Moses tells the people to destroy all the altars to other gods, burn their Ashram poles, and cut down their idols.  Don’t worship God in the way the pagans worshipped their gods.  The people shall rest once they have finished defeating the pagans.  Then God will chose the place they will worship Him and they are to bring their offerings to Him there.  Moses says they may kill animals but never eat their blood.  They are to eat their tithe only in the presence of the Lord.  Do exactly what God says to do without adding or detracting in any way.

Deuteronomy 13:  Do not believe false prophets who try to lead you into worshipping other gods.  This is a test sent by the Lord to test your heart.  That prophet must be put to death for his crimes.  If your brother, sister, son or daughter try to lead you to other gods, they must be put to death as well.  If people in your town are leading you astray, they must be killed and the town destroyed along with all the livestock as a burnt offering to the Lord.

Deuteronomy 14:  Lists clean and unclean food the Israelites could eat (repetition of Leviticus 11).  Moses reminds the Israelites about tithing.  Set aside one tenth of your produce each year for the Lord to eat in His presence or exchange it for silver if you live far away to but items at the tabernacle to be consumed in the Lord’s presence.  Every three years the tithes are to be stored for the Levites, aliens, orphans, and widows to live on.

Deuteronomy 15:  Review of Jubilee year (Leviticus 25), freeing servants (Leviticus 25), and setting aside the firstborn animal for God (Exodus 13).

Deuteronomy 16:  Review of the Passover Festivals, Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23).   Moses tells the people to appoint judges for each tribe in every town.

Questions:

9a)  Destroy completely all the places where the nations worshipped their gods.  Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, and burn their Ashram poles.  Cut down their idols and wipe out their names from those places.

b)  Because only in that place would the presence of God dwell.  The people are to worship in His presence.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t be worshipping with God.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Worship is to be taken seriously and if God is not invited in and not present, then it’s meaningless.  We are to worship Him and He is to receive it.  Going through the motions is unacceptable to God.

10)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  False prophets, relatives (brother, son, daughter, wife or other relatives), and townspeople (wicked men).  Honestly, they don’t trouble me because I don’t associate with them.  False prophets are easy to spot.  My relatives are mostly believers and the ones that aren’t aren’t close to me.  I also don’t associate with friends who would lead me astray (Admittedly, I don’t have much contact with the outside world so my connections are limited).

Conclusions:  Loved the emphasis on worshipping God where He is and taking it seriously.  Question 10 was a toss-out.  I am a very strong personality, very strong beliefs, and am very opinionated and not afraid to say it.  So it’s hard for me to be influenced by others.

Much of this passage was review of Leviticus.  Thank goodness!

End Notes:  Deuteronomy 12:  The destroying of the places of worship went completely against contemporary practice.  In the ancient world, it was difficult to build buildings and time consuming.  They had only simple tools and machines.  Nothing like we have today.  So the ancients would re-use buildings and if one empire conquered another, they’d simply remove the old temple’s accessories and replace it with theirs.  Not here.  God wanted no part in a building not meant for Him.

As usual, the Israelites did not fully follow these rules and tear down the places.  Hundreds of years later in a temple renovation a priest discovered the Book of the Law (scholars believe it was a copy of Deuteronomy), which resulted in a renewed vigor for God (2 Kings 22-23).  God’s work never ceases to mystify–how He uses disobedience for obedience hundreds of years later.

The Israelites had been doing their own thing with regards to worship.  “No more,” God says.  “Once you are settled, there will be a place dedicated to me.”  Rejoicing is commanded, both here and in the New Testament (Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16).

Animals could be killed for purposes of meat only.  It didn’t have to be just for a sacrifice.

Tragically, the Israelites were infected by the Canaanite worship of their god, Molech, that demanded children as sacrifices.  From Solomon on, the worship of Molech is recorded and was a systemic problem throughout Israel’s history.  One can only wonder what would have happened if the Israelites had done as the Lord said–destroyed the people and their places of worship and followed Him whole-hearted.  Wonder if earth would be any better off?

Deuteronomy 13:  It is rare for God to speak solely through a dream.  One must look for confirmation of that dream.  Deuteronomy 18:22 speaks of the easier one to discern:  a dreamer whose prediction does not come to pass.  Here we examine a dreamer whose prediction does come to pass but then tries to turn you away from God.  This is a test from God of your heart for Him.

Jesus warns in Mark 16:17 that signs follow believers; believers are not to follow signs as Satan will arrive, performing miracles (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

We must remember ancient Israel was a theocracy where the civil laws matched the religious laws.  Hence, some penalties that seem harsh to us today were permitted by God before Jesus came and ushered in the New Covenant.  Israel was the only true theocracy sanctioned by the One, True God.  Some say some Islamic countries are theocracies but non of them are pure–some secular laws are in existence there.

As we studied in Matthew 10:37 last year, God is above family.  The same is here.  Leading someone away from the Almighty is punishable by death since God is the giver of eternal life, you essentially have damned them.  Again, casting of the first stone is seen here as well.  (See also Matthew 18:6).

“Detestable” used to be translated “abomination”, which is a much stronger word and much more correct in translation.  It meant anything God could not stand and was impure, unholy, and unclean.

By destroying all within the city, it ensured no one would profit from the ruin of the city.  This deterred false reports.

The city was to remain a ruin forever.  Archaeologists believe these ruins (known as tel or tells) are the towns mentioned here.  Click HERE and HERE for examples.

Map Showing the King’s Highway and Israel’s Camp:  http://www.biblenews1.com/maps/moabcamp.gif

Time Fact to Complete This Lesson:  3 days and 4 hours.

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BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 25 Day 4: Numbers 28-30

Summary of passages:  Numbers 28:  God tells Moses to review the offerings with the people:  the burnt offerings, the Sabbath offerings, the monthly offerings, the Passover offerings, and the Feast of Weeks offerings.

Numbers 29:  God reviews more laws and regulations with the people, this time the offerings for the Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.

Numbers 30:  Moses discusses vows made to God and when one vows to the Lord, one must stick by it unless it is made by a daughter and her father or husband forbids it then it is not binding.  Any vow made by a widow or a divorced woman stays.  If a husband says nothing, then the vow stays for the wife but the husband bears the guilt if she doesn’t stick to her vow and he didn’t nullify it.

Questions:

7a)  It’s always important to review so you don’t forget–it’s what happens in school all the time. Review before a test.  Here, God wants to make sure the new generation knows the offerings to the detail before they entered the Promised Land.  They needed to know the central place atonement has in their lives and without atonement they could not be with God.

b)  God expects His people to remember His laws and regulations and to follow them and abide by them exactly.  In doing so, this shows the people’s reverence for God.  Same for us.  When we worship, it is about Him and honoring Him.  God expects the same from all of His people no matter the point in time at which we live.

8 )  Making a vow before the Lord should be taken seriously.  It is interesting that the man has final say.  This shows protection of the woman just like God protects us.  I wish more women would accept protection of their man instead of fighting it.  Most men yearn to do nothing more than protect their wife, a role God has given them.

Conclusions:  Relatively easy lesson as it is all stuff we have covered before.  I like how God includes this as it’s an important lesson for us all how we must be reminded of things because we easily forget.  The Israelites are about to take the steps that they have been preparing for their entire lives; God wants to make sure they know what’s important (worshipping Him) before they get caught up in the hubbub of moving!

I liked the vows chapter.  Like I said, I wish more women would be receptive to men as their protector as God is our protector.  Someone has to be the final decision maker.  Two people can’t both have the final say.

End Notes:  Numbers 28:  God commands an animal be sacrificed for our sins every morning and night to remind the Israelites of who’s important in their lives.  Every Sabbath an additional lamb was sacrificed in the morning and at night.  The importance of atonement for our sins is here and omnipresent as it should be in our own lives.

Numbers 29:  The Feast of Tabernacles was a celebration of God’s rich provision for the Israelites.  It celebrated God’s faithfulness to His people during the Exodus.

Note the lamb is the most common sacrifice–anyone see Jesus here?  The sacrifices listed here and in Numbers 28 was immense (over 1000 animals) and these are just the sacrifices the priests made for the people.  This does not include the individual sacrifices the people offered.  Can you imagine the expense?  And yet it was never enough!  Only Jesus was/is enough!

I can just picture the priests as this being their primary job–to offer sacrifices for the people and make atonement.  Little time left would have been for the preaching of God’s Word.

Numbers 30:  God takes our vows seriously so we need to be careful what we swear by.  God himself made vows (Luke 1:73, Acts 2:30, Hebrews 3:18, 6:13, 17) as did Jesus (Matthew 26:63-64).

The man was accountable for the woman’s fulfillment of her vow.  Authority always comes with accountability.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 24, Day 5: Numbers 25:6-18

Summary of passage:  An Israelite man brought a Midianite woman to the Tent of Meeting.  Phinehas, son of Eleazar, drove them through with a spear.  The plague against the Israelites stopped but 24,000 died.  God made a lasting covenant of priesthood with Phinehas because he was zealous for God’s honor and made atonement for the people.  The leader of the Simeonite family was killed and now God told the Israelites to treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them for their deception.

Questions:

10a)  Phinehas was jealous for God’s honor and the killing shed blood to atone for the Israelites’ sins.  Furthermore, Phinehas was just as jealous for God’s honor as God is jealous for His honor, showing how much Phinehas has a heart for God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Defend Him when blasphemied.  Tolerate no sin around you and say something when others are committing blatant sins against Him.  Be Godly yourself.

11a)  Balaam is credited with giving the Midianites the idea to entice/defeat the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.

[See also Numbers 31:16]

b)  Balaam was killed along with the five kings of Midian shortly after his blessings of the Israelites.  He is remembered as a lover of “wages of wickedness” according to Peter.  He is remembered as greedy and motivated by money–an unbeliever out for himself.

12a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God cannot tolerate sin nor be near sin.  His honor matters and He rewards those who defend Him here on earth.  He punishes justly and gives all a chance to turn to Him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To be holy.  To maintain it.  To honor and defend it.

Conclusions:  Question 12 is a filler.  It’s nice to see Balaam being punished for his misdeeds. So often in this world we don’t see sin being punished.  We just have to trust the sinners will be handled by God in heaven.  Still, God is a just God and incidents like this renew our faith that He is in control and consequences will be paid.

End Notes:  Scholars believe Zimri was having sex with Cozbi right in front of the tabernacle, which would make sense to solicit such a reaction from Phinehas.

This one act stopped the plague–an encouragement to us who think sometimes what we do doesn’t matter.

Phinehas had the zeal of God and was ensured he would be the line of the priesthood out of Eleazar’s sons.

Now the Midianites are an enemy of God after they had attacked God’s people first.  God’s anger is burning against them and He orders them to be destroyed.  Good lesson not to mess with God and His people!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 22, Day 2: Numbers 20:1-13

Summary of passage:  After 38 years of wandering, Miriam died (scholars date this as the first month of the 40th year of wandering).  Again, grumbling by the Israelites against Moses and Aaron because there is no water.  Same complaints about food, etc.  Moses and Aaron feel down at the Tent of Meeting.  The glory of the Lord appeared and told Moses to speak to a rock with his staff and water would appear.  Moses struck the rock twice with his staff and water rushed out.  However, God rebukes Moses and Aaron for his lack of faith and sentences them to die before the Promised Land is reached as well.

Questions:

3)  It is merely mentioned in passing.  Acts of honor or mourning are not mentioned and life seems to move on quickly after her death.  It shows how the older generation is dying and meeting God’s judgment upon them.

4a)  As soon as there’s trouble or life becomes difficult or something doesn’t go their way, the Israelites blame Moses and Aaron.  The people had already faced such an obstacle and God provided.  So why not trust God now?

b)  It’s hard to say here without a tone of voice.  They could be exaggerating but thirst is a powerful motivator and not having water (and we’re not told for how long) can drive people insane.

5)  The Lord provides for the Israelites physical needs (food, water, etc) as He always does. He angers over their lack of faith and punishes accordingly.  Although both are sins (grumbling), the magnitude appears to differ in God’s eyes.  Hunger and thirst can cloud the mind and desperation sets in.  Lack of faith is a heart issue–one much more serious.

Conclusions:  I wonder what this would have looked like if the Israelites, instead of grumbling, had cried out to God every time.  What a testament that would have been!

No shocker for the rebuke of Aaron.  But Moses?  Scripture is vague here (I wonder if Moses was too embarrassed to write it down) but we know it must have been a grave sin for God to rebuke Moses as such.  Some scholars say Moses didn’t follow directions here.  I notice Moses taking credit for the miracle when he says “we” instead of God.  I can’t imagine Moses’s heartache after all this time and all his faithfulness.  It would drive me close to insanity.

End Notes:  The Israelites are back at Kadesh (see MAP and MAP) where they first told God “no” about entering the Promised Land (Numbers 13:26-28).

Miriam’s death here is important; it showed the Israelites He was serious about everyone dying before entering the Promised Land.  She’s the first of Moses’s family to suffer for their collective sins.  Although Miriam had great moments of faith (Exodus 2:4-8; 15:20-21), one major sin marked her for life.  We see this today in the downfall of politicians or celebrities.  Great lesson for us:  no one is exempt from God’s judgment.

Timeline:  This is the beginning of the last year of wandering.  It appears the Israelites camped at Kadesh here for 3-4 months (based off of Numbers 33:38) perhaps because of Miriam’s death.  Aaron will die four months later.  The bible doesn’t tell a lot of what happened in this 38 years.  Presumably, nothing of consequence as the Israelites merely lived out God’s judgment.

Here we see a new generation of unbelievers as the old generation is dying.

Moses also was not commanded to speak to the nation nor to rebuke there.  Here, we see Moses as we’ve never seen him before–utter contempt for the people he has so often saved from destruction.  We also see pride when he says “we” as if God were not enough.  Moses’s heart had twisted and God obviously didn’t like what He saw.

Moses disobeyed God by striking the rock.  I can just imagine his frustration at the people boiling over.  However, in his anger, he makes a fatal mistake–literally.

Yet God is so gracious and so good and so loving He provides for His people despite their sins.

Moses did not believe God.  He probably remembered back in Exodus 17 where he had to strike the rock.

The punishment was strict.  But as we all know, those who know God are called to a higher standard. Can you imagine the standard Moses had to live up to?  A lot of pressure.  Yet because he was so close to God and a leader, his punishment reflects God’s expectations of those who know Him.  Great lesson for us as well.

Moses’s sin was small compared to the Israelites’ sins.  Yet not in God’s eyes.  God says in Deuteronomy 32:51 that Moses “broke faith” with Him and “did not uphold my [God’s] holiness amongst the Israelites.”  A warning to us all–what we consider as a small sin can be huge to God.

Moses pleads with God to let him go over to the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 3:23-27) and when God says no, Moses blames the people.  Poor, poor Moses.  He has seen time and time again of God reversing His initial punishment, not ridding the land of the Israelites and not giving Miriam leprosy that he thinks for sure God will relent and reverse His position.  But God does not.  Our hearts bleed for him; yet, God remains good and gracious and kind and judging.  His ways, not ours.

The picture of Moses reflecting Jesus here is now tainted.  Moses struck twice; Jesus only once.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 21, Day 3: Numbers 16:1-22

Summary of passage:  Korah, Dathan, and Abiram led 250 well-known council members in a rebellion  against Moses.  Moses tells them in the morning God will choose who is holy.  Moses chastises the Levites for being greedy and wanting the priesthood as well as the honor of serving God in His tabernacle.  Moses is accused by Dathan and Abiriam of leading them to death instead of a land of milk and honey.  Moses asked the Lord not to accept their offering out of anger.

The next day all the men took incense and their censer before the Lord at the Tent of Meeting. The Lord appeared in all His glory.  God tells Moses to move away from the entire group so He can kill them.  Moses and Aaron though beg for the lives of the 250 and just put the ringleaders to death.

Questions:

4a)  They accused Moses of putting himself above everyone else.  Dathan and Abiram accuse Moses of leading them to their deaths and not into a land of milk and honey.

b)  To promise them something greater–hear it sounds like the priesthood.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Ever hear of politicians?  All the time.  People promise you something to come over to their side.  Even amidst children.  Human nature.  One of the oldest (as we are reading) tricks in the book.

5a)  Korah:  Greed, desire for power, recognition

Dathan and Abiram:  desire for an easier life

Moses:  compassion, anger, forgiveness

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This question has nothing to do with the passage.  Not sure.  I can’t speak for God.  And this passage is really not flattering to anyone.

6a)  God. Verse 11

b)  Moses fell facedown to God, he tells them they are rebelling against God, Moses tells God not to accept the offering of Dathan and Abiram, and Moses asks God only to punish the ringleaders and not everyone.  Moses knows God almost wiped them all off the face of the earth and he is trying to contain this rebellion before God decides to do it again.

Conclusions:  Unbelievable so close to God having almost killed the people and punished all of them by not allowing them to make it to the Promised Land.  Man never learns, does he?

I am struck over and over again with the greatness and compassion of Moses.  Never before have I realized just how instrumental he was in the Exodus and in rescuing God’s people from themselves.  I am awed by his love and his behavior and his courage especially in the face of God’s anger.  I’m not for sure I would have the courage to speak up to God to spare the people when God’s about to destroy everyone.  So many lessons we see from Moses:  standing up for others, loving others, compassion for others, understanding others, etc.  Every chapter I come to see just how special Moses truly was.

End Notes:  Korah was a great-grandson of Levi.  Both Moses and Korah were descended from Kohath but by different sons.  So they were distant cousins.  See Numbers 26:58-59.

Korah played to the people, claiming to represent their interests and needs, when in truth it was all about a power grab for himself.

It’s significant that Korah accused Moses of pride–a man the Bible called the most humble man on earth (Numbers 12:3–debatable about if Moses called himself this or not as the author of Numbers). It is therefore significant that Korah managed to get so many followers because these men should have known how preposterous the idea was and should have known Moses’ character.  Great example on how man is often deceived by smooth talkers.

Moses sets the example for all of us:  the first thing he did was pray.  Pray for guidance to God.

In this prayer (which we are not told how long it lasted), Moses presumably received direction from God in terms of what to do.  Moses wouldn’t issue a challenge to Korah and speak for God to show Himself and choose His leader if God hadn’t have told him to do so.

Korah was ungrateful and instead of seeking God to give him gratitude he chose to take Moses down.  His heart indeed was not God’s.

Unbelievable how Dathan and Abiram called Egypt “a land flowing with milk and honey.”  Yet how often have we done the same thing with the past–when something terrible has happened and we sugar coat it to something completely different.  It’s as if we never want to believe the worst.

Saying nothing is a sin as well when someone is falsely accused and you do nothing.  The 250 community leaders here hold blame as well.

Moses could easily have the rebels arrested and executed if he so desired.  Instead, he left it to God.  And Moses’ passion and anger against the rebels shows just how much he wanted to protect God’s people against those who would lead them astray.

The censer test with incense was what the priests used in worship.  God chose this to give the evil-doers what they wanted–to be a priest.  However, they were far from worshipping God here.

Moses and Aaron’s prayer perhaps saved these men.  We don’t know for sure, but the fact this is recorded emphasizes the power of prayer.  Another example for us to follow.  Certainly, both Moses and Aaron are becoming more and more like Jesus–one reason God allowed this rebellion to happen.

Fun Fact:  Korah means “baldness” in Hebrew.  Gives us a better picture of him, don’t it?

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 21, Day 2: Numbers 15

Summary of passage:  The Lord tells Moses more instructions for bringing offerings to Him when they enter the Promised Land.  Everyone must follow these rules including aliens for offerings. These are offerings by fire, special vows, freewill, or festival offerings.  And offerings from the first ground meal as well.

The Lord describes offerings for unintentional sin both for the community as a whole and for the individual.  They are to present a bull or goat to be sacrificed, the priest is to make atonement, and then they will be forgiven.  However, if the sin is intentional, then that person must be cut off from his people.

A man gathering wood on the Sabbath was stoned to death at the Lord’s directive for breaking his command to keep the Sabbath holy.

The Lord commands all people to wear blue tassels on their garments as a reminder to obey His commands.

Questions:

3a)  God says He is giving them the Promised Land as a home and He is the one taking them there.  The offerings in this chapter are offerings for when they get to the Promised Land so that must mean they will get there.  God says when you eat of the food of the land–The Promised Land.  God never said “if”.  It’s “when”.  God keeps His promises.

b)  Gathering wood on the Sabbath.  So the people would know the consequences of breaking God’s commands.  We’re not sure the time-frame of this penalty but if it were so close to the rebellion of the people against God in Chapters 13-14, then God had to come down harshly to make His point to discourage any more rebellion by His people.  To instill a fear of God in the people.  Obviously, this man knew he was breaking the law and he did it anyways.  To God, this is not okay.  And this man paid the price.  All the Israelites needed to know who was in control and thumbing your nose at God is not a good idea.

c)  Positive:  So the people will remember all the commands of the Lord and that they may obey the commands and not prostitute themselves by going after the lusts of their hearts and eyes.  The tassels will show the people are consecrated to the Lord.

Negative:  They are marked as God’s people and therefore may be targets of discrimination and hatred by pagan peoples.  It could be annoying to always have a reminder about being good and make the people feel like children.  However, God knows what His people need, and they are His children.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God wanted His people to have a visual reminder that they are His and are special to Him.  It reminds me that I am special as well and am marked with the Holy Spirit as my reminder.  God is with me to resist temptation and sin.

Conclusions:  I think this must have been close after Numbers 13-14 of the rebellion as we see God reassuring the people, giving them visual reminders to help them, and punishing a man very severely for something small to make a point.  God wants His people to obey and He is doing everything in His power to make them.  God cares so much, doesn’t He?

End Notes:  The people once more were almost eliminated by God.  He had just told them none of them would live to see the Promised Land.  The people needed God most here to comfort and reassure them that He is still with them, He still loves them, they can still be forgiven for their sins, and their children will see the Promised Land.  God is pulling them back to Him with grace and mercy and love.

The amount of the offerings gets progressively bigger as our growth with Him should.  As we know Him, we give more and more and sacrifice more and more and receive more and more from Him as a reward.

Sin is sin.  Period.  Unintentional sin still counts.  Many dismiss it today as good intentions.  Still, sin occurs and must be atoned for like any other sin.  Luckily, our God is great and forgives all sins.

Intentional sin was basically a sentence of death.  Wonder how many people today would be castigated out if this were still the case?

The color blue is associated with holiness.  The Ark, the curtains, and the priest’s garments were of blue cloth.

We wear similar reminders today:  cross necklaces and earrings, T-shirts, etc.  Just like in Jesus’ day with the Pharisees (Matthew 23:5), we must be careful not to wear it in a prideful manner and as an indication of superiority over others.

I like wearing these reminders as a marking of whom I belong to to others.  It can be a great conversation/evangelism jumping off point when people remark how much they like my necklace or earrings.  I often forget I am wearing them, but others remind me!

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 20, Day 5: Numbers 14:20-45

Summary of passage:  The Lord forgave His people as Moses asked Him too.  However, the punishment for disobedience is that none of them will see the Promised Land except Caleb.  God tells His people to turn around.  The Lord tells Moses except Caleb and Joshua all will die who grumbled against Him–He will grant their wish to die in the desert.  The children will inherit the land but only after wandering for 40 years–one year for each day the Israelites explored the land.

God struck down and killed the men who were responsible for the bad report.  The Israelites repented and went to fight anyways.  But this was disobeying God as well for He has ordered them to turn back.  They were defeated as Moses and the ark remained encamped.

Questions:

10a)  Yes.  Verse 20

b)  Nevertheless

c)  “Not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times–not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers.”  The Lord “will do the very things I heard you say:  In this desert your bodies will fall–every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.”  “Your children will be shepherds here for 40 years, suffering for your unfaithfulness.”

Basically, they will all die without entering the Promised Land and they are sentenced to wander the desert for 40 years to wait for them all to die and as punishment to their children.

11a)  No.  People today have a victim mentality and an entitlement mentality.  They deserve only good things and if something bad happens to them, it’s someone else’s fault and thus they should  be taken care of and given payment because of it.

b)  Yes.  Yes.

12a)  By punishing the instigators.  God struck down the men who reported the false report and thus were responsible for leading the others into sin.

b)  They disobeyed AGAIN by deciding to go and take the land when the Lord had already told them they were to turn around.  They were warned by Moses that the Lord was not with them, but they didn’t seem to care–they did it anyways and were defeated because of it.

Conclusions: Loved Lesson 20.  Great stories.  Great moments of people’s disobedience, God’s grace and forgiveness, and consequences of disobedience.  In Numbers 13-14, we see the whole of the Bible condensed into two chapters.  All that’s missing here is Jesus.

End Notes:  Here we see the power of prayer as God says He has forgiven the people because Moses asked.  God listens and He responds.

God recognized Caleb and rewarded him in front of all.  The people on the other hand have more work to do.

Note even Moses and Aaron is included in those who won’t enter the Promised Land.  So they knew.  I wonder what they were thinking.

No excuse will work here–the people rejected the land and now they must pay the consequences.  Even when they decided to obey, their hearts were not in it–they did not trust the Lord.  They only felt sorry for what they did.  And they paid the price.

See Psalm 95:7b-11, Psalm 106:24-27, & Nehemiah 9:16-17 for more.

They will wander only 38 years since they have already been in the desert for 2 years.

Map of Hormah and possible Route through the Desert:  https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bc/scriptures/content/english/bible-maps/images/03990_000_bible-map-2.jpg

Great map of where the Israelites are headed next:  http://fgcp.org/system/files/images/Promise-Land-Era.jpg

Close-up of Hormah:  http://www.keyway.ca/gif/hormah.gif