Sunday, May 10, 2009

Preparation for Canaan


(1) On the plains of Moab

Israel came at last to the plains of Moab, on the east of Jordan, over against Jericho. Of the unbelieving generation, which almost forty years before grieved God with its rebellion, all those twenty years of age and up had died.

(2) Moses’ farewell addresses (Deuteronomy 1-30)

Because Moses failed to sanctify Jehovah before the people, in that he smote the rock instead of speaking to it, as God commanded, he was not permitted to enter the Land of Promise. Before he went away into the mount from which he was not to return, he assembled all Israel in the open plain and delivered a series of farewell addresses, which for strength and dignity rank with the noblest of all human utterances.

(3) Moses died

At the call of God, Moses ascended Mt. Nebo and viewed the land which he was himself forbidden to enter. Here in the land of Moab, Moses died, and here God buried him so that no man ever knew the place of his burial.

(4) Joshua succeeded Moses

As a slave in Egypt, Joshua saw the mighty plagues by which Jehovah delivered Israel; as his minister he was with Moses in the sacred mount; as one of the twelve spies he brought back a good report. Thus in a long and honorable career and by varied training Joshua was prepared for leadership. ife, moving from place to place as the necessities of water and pasturage required.

Wilderness Wanderings


During the year spent before sinai we have four leading events, as follows:

(1) To Kadesh-barnea

After a solemn observance of the Passover, the hosts of Israel, numbering upwards of two millions, broke camp, and, led on by the pillar of cloud, set out toward Canaan, reaching Kadesh-barnea, on its southern shore, at the time of the first ripe grapes, in the month of September.

(2) The spies sent

In obedience to the command of Jehovah, twelve men, selected from the Twelve Tribes of Israel, went up throughout the whole land to spy it out. On their return they brought back a unanimous report as to the fertility and resources of the land, and as to the fierceness of its inhabitants. Here their agreement ceased. Ten men, declaring that they could not take the land, made the hearts of the people melt with fear. The other two, Caleb and Joshua, bravely withstood the majority, saying, “Let us go up at once and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13: 30).

(3) The people turned back

The two men were unable to overcome the tide of doubt and dismay caused by the adverse report of the ten. The courage and faith of Israel signally failed and the people turned back, to wander in the desert until that generation of unbelieving men was dead.

(4) Wilderness Wanderings

For thirty-seven and a half years the children of Israel lived the nomadic life of the desert. We are not to to suppose that the people traveled constantly during this time, but rather that they lived a wandering and unsettled life, moving from place to place as the necessities of water and pasturage required.