Israel said they wanted to die in the wilderness in Num 14.2, and that is what they got in Num 14.29. Jewish tradition says the day of the bad report was the Ninth of Av. It seems that anything bad that happened to Israel in history happened on this day. For instance, both temples were destroyed on this day day. The Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492. Jews were massacred in Betar during the Bar Kochba revolt in 133 AD. Jews were expelled from from England in 1290 AD and Germany declared war on Russia, moving the world into World War I. Deportations from the Warsaw ghetto in Treblinka Concentration Camp begin on that day. Get the picture?
In our own personal journey “up the ladder” of spiritual growth we will encounter obstacles. We should not allow guilt to affect us. We should allow the words of Caleb and Joshua to resonate in our minds. We are loved and favored by the Lord, but “do not rebel” (Num 14.9). We should not judge the future through the eyes of the present. You will lose hope for the future. Don’t be held back by our failure to believe in ourselves. Who cares how we look to others as long as we are following the Lord and what he has told us to do. Don’t be concerned with what others think. Be concerned with what we are looking for and what the Lord thinks.
The Lord is bringing his people back to the land today also. Scouts have been sent out and their are giants in the land like terrorists, the PLO, the Syrians, Iranians, Russians, and the United Nations. Later it will be Europe and the False Messiah. The Israelis don’t believe they cane “take the land” or the Temple Mount, so they make deals. They say their wives and children are in harm’s way. They are listening to a bad report and think they must compromise to survive. The United States puts fear into them by saying they will cut off their benefits if they don’t comply. World opinion is against them and they give land away they are not allowed to do according to God’s word.
Some don’t want the promise. They reject the shaliach of the Second Redemption (Yeshua) and God, like they rejected Moses and Joshua in the First Redemption. They don’t want the Torah either. The Lord is pouring out his Spirit on the people with great military victories but most will not believe. They have come to Kadesh and they have balked at God’s purposes. But, there will be a generation brought up in the wilderness who will follow Yeshua (Joshua).
What happened to the ten scouts who gave the bad report? They died on what tradition says is the Ninth of Av. These men were princes (nasi’im) of Israel, men of renown and named in the Torah. They did not get forty years to wander in Kadesh (Wadi Rum). They died immediately. Judgment begins in the household of God (1 Pet 4.17). And what happened to the rest of the people? They died in the wilderness (Num 14.29). There were 603,550 people (men) numbered in the camp in Num 2.32. If you add the 22,273 Levites in Num 3.43, that is a total of 625,823. All of them died except for two people, Joshua and Caleb.
This is serious business here, and what this tells us is this, “Do we really thrust the Lord?” It all comes down to that. When one does not want to follow the Lord, they make things, they make things harder for their children (Num 14.33). The godly inheritance is the only inheritance that really matters. If we can get that chain of belief started, it will extend to the “thousandth” generation in our family (Exo 20.6).
Now, let’s take a look at Num 14.39-45. Too much damage has been done for a simple “I’m sorry.” Instead of obeying, they defy God again, hoping he would change his mind. They decide they will go up and take the land now (Num 14.40). When they went up, they did not take the Ark or Moses with them (Num 14.44). This will not end in success. Only two tribes beat them, the Amalekites and the Canaanites. It’s the same with us. If we have no Torah (Moses) and no commandments (Ark) that is not obedience and there will be no success.
This is a process of self-destruction and it is based on human limitations. In Stage 1, they lose confidence in their ability to succeed because they forgot the Lord. Stage 2 is they can rattle off a host of excuses and recriminations, even indicting Moses. In Stage 3, they “wake up” and realize what they have squandered. Unable to bear it, they heroically declare, “Let us go now” to recapture what was lost, but it was too late. In Stage 4, they were unable to bear the failure and they try to enter anyway. Death is a comforting option, going down in a “blaze of glory.” This satisfies their egos but destroys their lives. But Joshua and Caleb learned the secret (Josh 1.8-9). Get in line with the plan of God and don’t go contrary (right or left). Clearly the strategy was laid out. They needed to implement what God has told them to do. Nothing is impossible of the Lord is involved. He is the one who determines the outcome.
In Num 15-1-16 we will have different laws concerning meal offerings and libations. Num 15.2 says, “When you enter the land” and it is said here to give the people hope. The people are given these laws here because the Lord did not want the people to judge the future through the eyes of their present situation.
In Num 15.14-16 we learn something about the Torah and the non-Jew. A non-Jew must worship this God in accordance with what he said in the Torah, otherwise it is not considered worship. Non-Jews have a relationship to the Torah also, based on Num 15.16; 1 Cor 7.17-19; Ecc 12.13 and Eph 2.11-22. Intentions don’t matter. If one worships in a different matter it is like meat sacrificed to idols and the Golden Calf. It is a form of idolatry if one does not worship in the way that God has instructed in the Torah.
Provisions are made all through the Torah for the same blessings and the same benefits, but to receive these blessings and benefits we must do it the same way that God has instructed. In other words, if we get a blessing for keeping the Sabbath, you won’t get that blessing if you keep a different “sabbath” like Sunday. If you want to “love the Lord” then keep the commandments (John 14.15; 1 John 2.3-4). Even if we don’t know what we are doing, we will be accepted. Using the Sabbath again, it is an issue with people today. We should keep the one Sabbath God specified. There is one law and one ordinance for the Jew and the non-Jew (Num 15.16). The other days of the week do not have the same level of kedusha as the seventh day Sabbath (Gen 2.1-3; Exo 20.8-11). What does “knowing” God mean in Matt 7.21-23 and 1 John 2.3-4? It means exactly what we think it means. Who do we know and who do we not know? Now go back and read Matt 7.21-23 and 1 John 2.3-4 again. If we “know the Lord” we would keep his commandments. If we don’t and we think we are free from the law, then we don’t know the Lord and that is not a good position to be in, especially if we say we know him. It will prove us to be a liar.
We will pick up here in Part 15.