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In Case You Missed It -- Number 13-14, Psalm 83

Déja vu happens in the Bible, too. Many of the details of this story should remind you of the end of Exodus. God is preparing Israel for a new gift—this time a promised land—but the people of Israel doubt His power to deliver it, believing the messengers’ report that the peoples of the land of Canaan are too great. Instead of building a golden calf before receiving the law, the people rebel against God and His prophet Moses, rejecting the advice of Caleb and Joshua. Then Moses does the same thing away from Sinai that he did in Exodus 32 and 33. God tells Moses He can make a new nation out of Moses and destroy Israel. Moses again appeals to God not to do so, lest the Egyptians disbelieve in God’s power (Numbers 14:13-16). Moses beautifully calls to attention again what God proclaimed about Himself before (Exodus 34:6-7): God is “The Lord, is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.” God again responds favorably to Moses’ request, but this time promises that those who feared God’s provision would die in the wilderness while their children would see the land of promise. There is a flip side to God’s revelation of His lovingkindness; God “does not leave the guilty unpunished.” These two truths about God—His forgiving love and His justice—would continue to form Israel’s understanding of God (Psalm 103:8, Psalm 145:8, Nahum 1:3).

Jeremiah Vaught