Numbers 14 and the Book of Hebrews

English: Joshua Saved, as in Numbers 14:10, by...
English: Joshua Saved, as in Numbers 14:10, by John Steeple Davis, from The Bible and Its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons. Edited by Charles F. Horne and Julius A. Bewer. 1908. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Israel Driven Back into the Desert, a...
English: Israel Driven Back into the Desert, as in Numbers 14:33, illustration from The Bible and Its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons. Edited by Charles F. Horne and Julius A. Bewer. 1908. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Numbers 14 tells of Israel’s reaction to the “bad report” that there are giants in the Promised Land of Canaan. Instead of listening to the good reports that Caleb and Joshua share, the Hebrews reject Moses and want to return to Egypt–in spite of all of the miracles that God has performed for them.

God considers destroying them and making a nation out of Moses instead. Moses intercedes on Israel’s behalf. God hears Moses prayer:  “The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy,and as thou has forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now” (Numbers 14: 18-19 KJV).

God replies: “I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not harkened to my voice; surely they will not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it” (Numbers 14: 20-23 KJV).

Of that generation, only Caleb and Joshua were allowed to enter the Promised Land because they gave a good report and were willing to obey God’s command to overtake Canaan.

Why did the Hebrews spend forty years in the wilderness?  “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise” (Numbers 14: 34 KJV).

What can we learn from Numbers 14?  Turn to the Book of Hebrews.

“Without faith it is impossible to please [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11: 6 NASB).

“TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME.  For who provoked [God] when they had heard?  Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?  And with whom was He angry for forty years?  Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?  And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?  So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3: 15-19).

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