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Thursday, February 28 2019
A Bible Journey, 131: The Sinai Sentence
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"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"
The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) fulfilled His promise to deliver the Israelites to the Promised Land, but they refused to enter (see Numbers 13: The Exploration Of The Promised Land). Instead, they cried "Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt."
"14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 14:2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 14:3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 14:4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt." (Numbers 14:1-4 KJV)
Moses faced a national mutiny (see Numbers 2: Israel's Battle Formation). Only Aaron, Joshua and Caleb are recorded as having stood with Moses. They alone "fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel." Moses nevertheless prevented their destruction, praying to the LORD, "Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now."
"14:5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 14:6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: 14:7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. 14:8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 14:9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
The LORD did not destroy them, but He punished them by giving them what they asked for - to not enter the Promised land. Instead, they would be given to wander in the wilderness of the Sinai for forty years, until the entire adult generation of the Exodus had passed away (see the Fact Finder question below).
"14:20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word: 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. 14:22 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 hearkened to my voice; 14:23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. 14:25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.
The Israelites then rebelled again, by refusing to turn away from the land that they had refused to enter. Without the LORD fighting their battles (as He was going to do if they had entered the Promised Land), "They presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah."
"14:36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, 14:37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD. 14:38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.
Fact Finder: Would there have been a Book of Deuteronomy if the Israelites had entered the Promised Land at their first opportunity?
This Day In History
This Day In History, February 28
202 BC: Liu Bang became Emperor Gaozu of Han, beginning four centuries of the Han Dynasty of China (see also The First Chinese American War).
628 Persian King Khosrau II was assassinated (see also The Decrees Of The Persian Kings).
1066: Westminster Abbey opened. Originally an abbey church of Benedictine monks, it became a national shrine of Britain.
1525: Aztec King Cuauhtemoc was executed by the invasion forces of Hernan Cortes.
1638: The Scottish National Covenant was signed in Edinburgh.
1692: The Salem, Massachusetts witch hysteria began (see also What Is Sorcery?).
1759: Pope Clement XIII granted permission for the Bible to be translated into the languages of the Roman Catholic states - provided that it was read and "interpreted" only by Catholic priests.
1784: John Wesley of the Church of England established his "Methodist Church" (also known as "the Wesleyan faith" or "the Methodists").
1825: A treaty was signed between King George IV of Britain and Czar Nicholas I of Russia to establish the border between Canada and Russian America (the official Russian term for what is today known as Alaska). Russia sold the wilderness area to the U.S. in 1867, thereby making it the only U.S. territory in North America to not be seized by rebellion or military conquest.
1843: The Great March Comet of 1843 made its closest approach to the sun, only 120,000 km., less than a tenth of the solar diameter. For a few hours that day, the comet outshone any comet seen in the previous 7 centuries. Burning in the daytime sky like a brilliant, tailed star less than 1 degree from the limb of the sun, the comet's astronomical magnitude may have reached -17, more than 60 times brighter than the full moon. The tail eventually reached a length of 68 degrees, 3 weeks after perihelion, estimated to have stretched 300,000,000 km. across the inner solar system. The last time a comet was seen that close to the sun was in 1106.
1844: On the Potomac River, the U.S. navy was demonstrating its new frigate Princeton when one of its guns exploded, killing Secretary of State Abel Upshur, Navy Secretary Thomas Gilmer and some other government officials.
1917: During the First World War (1914-1918), total ships sunk for the month by German submarines: 212.
1940: British Colonial Secretary MacDonald terminated all further land sales to Jews in "Palestine" (see Where Is Palestine?). The move was officially intended to prevent arousing the Arabs, thereby destabilizing the region, which would have benefited Nazi Germany.
1940: The superliner Queen Elizabeth was launched in Britain.
1948: The last British troops left India which had then become independent.
1954: The U.S. detonated its second hydrogen bomb, at Bikini atoll. The expected yield of the weapon of mass destruction was 8 megatons; the actual yield turned out to be 15 megatons (see also Who Would Throw A Nuclear Boomerang?).
1969: A Los Angeles court refused Robert Kennedy's assassin Sirhan Sirhan's request to be executed.
1974: The U.S. and Egypt re-established diplomatic relations after 7 years.
1993: The siege at Waco, Texas, began after U.S. federal agents tried to serve an arrest warrant for weapons charges on Branch Davidian sect leader David Koresh.
1996: Russia entered as the 39th member of the Council of Europe.
1997: An earthquake in northern Iran killed over 3,000 people.
2013: Pope Benedict XVI resigned - the first pope to do so since 1415.