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(Thursday, 10-11-07) Prayer 9 - Moses' Prayer After the People Rebel

Numbers 14:10-20

Having left Sinai, the people of Israel were on the verge of going into the land of promise. Spies were sent out to learn what the land was like, and to gather information about the cities and the people. They returned with good news and bad. First, they reported that the land was rich, flowing with milk and honey. But, they also reported that giants lived there. The conclusion was that they were grasshoppers and incapable of conquering such fortified cities and well-armed people. Only Joshua and Caleb believed it was possible to take the land. At such a negative report, the people rebelled. The people even wanted to stone Moses and Aaron. This did not stop Moses from praying for them.

What Can We Learn?
1. The Israelites were not just complainers, they were habitual complainers.

2. The negative report of the spies was little more than a reflection of the lack of faith by the nation as a whole.

3. Such constant lack of faith and irritating complaining was worthy of God’s condemnation.

4. Moses demonstrated an amazing commitment to his people, pleading for the mercy and forgiveness of God.

5. Moses’ prayer is so effective, that pardon is immediately extended, and God did not destroy them.

6. However, God did not allow that generation of people to see the Promised Land. The people wandered for 40 years, and only Joshua and Caleb would later enter it.

7. Ultimately, God would be glorified through Israel, the very thing Moses feared would not happen if he destroyed Israel.

Questions to Ponder
1. Why do you think the band of spies was made up of leaders from each of the tribes of Israel?

2. How can we reconcile the fact that God had promised the land to Israel with their conclusion that it was impossible to conquer?

3. Do you think Israel was right or wrong to conclude that they were too weak to defeat the inhabitants of Canaan?

4. What does the negative conclusion of the spies, and the quick response of the people to accept it, say about the level of faith among the Israelites?

5. Why did the people want to stone Moses and Aaron?

6. What was the main thrust of Moses’ argument in his prayer to God and in his effort to gain forgiveness for the people?

7. How does this argument relate to Moses’ faith?

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Oh the faith of Joshua and Caleb to look past the "giants". They both were tested and yet they firmly believed even when the majority did not.