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One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

Jesse Tree Day 9

The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”

When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)

So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) When they reached the Valley of Eshkol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. Numbers 13:2, 17-25

After receiving the law, moses takes the people to the edge of Canaan. He sends out 12 spies to go into the land. They are to make observations about the people living the, what the land is like, and what kind of food grows. The 12 men are sent out as a team and travel the lans for 40 days. When they return they share about all the things they see. The different people who lives there, the wonderful large food that grows, and how strong the people and the cities seem. Some are giants.

In front of the whole assembly one of the spies interrupts.

“We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Number 13:30-33

The complainers out number the two men who have a good report. Joshua and Caleb are confident that God will help them take the land. The complainers are too united.

We should have stayed in Egypt.

Why couldn’t we have just died in the desert.

What about our women and children that they will take as plunder.

We had it better off in Egypt.

Moses and Aaron fall on their faces before the assembly. Joshua and Caleb rip their clothes in protest. They try to warn the people of their rebellious hearts.

The scene intensifies. Now the people have decided that they will stone these men to death. That’s what our rebellious hearts do to us. First we are fed lies.

Why can’t this happen?

Why does she always get more?

If only I….

Life was easier when……

Jesse Tree Day 9As we begin to believe the lies and confusion we start to complain, both internally and externally. The complaints grow at maddening rates. No longer are they merely discomforts, but quickly become our battle cry. No longer can we hear the reason of the other side or see the hope in the given situation.

It all ends when the presence of God enters the Tent. Ready to end it all by destroying the people, Moses pleas with the Lord.

“Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’

“Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.

God forgives the people, however they must be punished. No person over the age of 20 will be allowed to enter the promise land except for Joshua and Caleb. Also the children that they seemed so concerned about will have to suffer as they wander in the desert for the remainder of 40 years.

Joshua would be the next leader after Moses died, and they would take the land that was promised. God would be with them. He would bring them to the land that He promised to them. He would be faithful. Yes there were people who were giants, but they were defeated. Yes the cities were surrounded by strong towers, but they would fall. All the people needed to do was believe.

This is one of the accounts in the Bible that I don’t feel so great after reading. It’s not because I feel badly for the people who complained so much as it’s that I see myself in their actions. It is far easier for me to find the dissatisfaction in what ever situation I am in that I feel I don’t deserve to be. Maybe I’ve just had a long day and I am being short-tempered with my family. There were other times that I flat-out had a temper tantrum about the situation I was in and was furious with God for putting me there. When I look in the mirror of passages like this and see my reflection back that I am reminded of the loving graciousness that He continues to show. My situation does not define who He is as God. It effects his character zero percent.

The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.

and he did this through his son, Jesus.

Family Devotion:

Gather a couple different pieces of fruit like grapes, orange, apple, etc. Something with segments from the citrus family is ideal, Bible and Ornament

Read the passage above together. Ask: What kind of fruit grows on an orange tree? What about bananas, what do they grow on? Would you ever see an apple grow on a pear tree? Read Galatians 5:22-23. These verses talk about the Fruit of the Spirit. A person who is a Christian will show it by living life with these qualities in how they live. They aren’t separate fruits, like apples oranges, and grapes, but all part of one fruit. More like an orange that has sections of organs to it. The people in Numbers that didn’t believe the 2 spies didn’t act like this fruit describes. Pray together thanking God for giving us the Holy Spirit that helps us.




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