Today Joshua and Caleb urge the people not to fear, trust the Lord, and take the land! Remember, the Lord already provided victory when Joshua led the people in battle against the Amalekites. Joshua and Caleb know that He will provide victory again. However, standing alone for the Lord is not easy! The people want to stone them but Joshua’s and Caleb’s fate isn’t in the hands of the people, it‘s with God Almighty! As a punishment for the people’s rebellion, the Lord says anyone who was 20 years old and older and saw ALL the miraculous signs He performed in Egypt and the wilderness and STILL didn’t trust Him; they would die in the wilderness. The only ones of that generation that will enter the promised land are the 2 faithful spies, Joshua and Caleb. They will lead a whole new generation into Canaan after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. Well, the people didn’t like this punishment so the next day they went and tried to take the land without the Lord and learned the hard way that you will not succeed without God!
Towards the end of the reading we learned that the whole congregation stoned to death a man for collecting sticks on the sabbath. 😳 Ok, I know that seems harsh but we have to remember that it isn’t about what we think is fair or isn’t fair. It is about what HE SAID and we read on Feb 10th the punishment for working on the sabbath was death. The Lord desires for His people to obey Him and it is for their own good! He even helps them out with this by telling them to put tassels on their clothing so they will remember His commandments and not “follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own mind are inclined”.
Jeremiah 17:9 says “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”. Well, God knows but He is sending the One to give us a new heart! (Ezekiel 36:26) Also remember that we aren’t saved based on works. God knows hearts and He knows which ones have faith in Him and which ones don’t. Our faith leads us to desire obedience. (James 2:14-26) Keep reading bc shockingly enough there is more disobedience tomorrow. Will they ever learn?!