Feb 13 — Numbers 12-14

Num 12 — Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses
Num 13 — Spies Sent Into Canaan and Report Back
Num 14:1-12 — The People Rebel and Grumble about their Situation
Num 14:13-38 — Moses Intercedes for the People but God Promises Judgement
Num 14:39-45 — Israel Defeated by Amalekites and Canaanites

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One Reply to “Feb 13 — Numbers 12-14”

  1. The sovereignty of God shows up in two themes in these readings: 1) even in forgiveness, consequences take time and 2) a few who hear the voice of God are better than the many who sit and grumble (sounds like a proverb, yes?).

    1. Miriam and Aaron are whining against Moses (Num 12:1-2). God calls all three to a meeting and has a chat…well, it’s a bit more than that, but it reminds me of being told to “go talk to your dad” when I would do something stupid as a child. It didn’t happen often, but those key events were memorable. Brother and sister standing in front of their father, each pointing to the other. My dad was a good judge and punishment was swift and fair. In this narrative, God inflicts his punishment immediately and drives his point home. Moses asks God for forgiveness and it is granted, but Miriam (and the rest of the people) have to wait a week before restitution is complete. Seven days to think about it…reflect, reconsider, remember. God forgave, but healing takes time.

    2. Grumbling is like the Turkish Delight in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Once tasted, they just can’t get enough. It mysteriously draws people together and traps many. In this story, the spies wander through the promised land and report the land is indeed bountiful. Only Joshua and Caleb appear to truly have faith that God will do as he promised; passionate faith, they “who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes” and pronounced before the assembly “If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land…” (Num 14:6-8). The other ten spies had infected the community. Weren’t they all hand-picked? Take a vote, 2 say, “take the land,” 10 say, “run!” How often do we miss the voice of God through a few who are right while the voice of the many overwhelm us? Many were swayed and paid the price by attempting to fight the Amalekites and Canaanites on their own (Num 14:44-45).

    Lord, help me to hear your voice above any grumbling or discontent. Help me to know your voice through reading your Word. And may all the glory be given to you God. Amen.

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