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Bible Time Period: Desert Wanderings
You taught Israel to walk in faith through 40 years’ wandering in the desert: Help me to trust in you today, O God.
Three feasts are announced in Numbers 29. The first will later become Rosh Hashanah, a celebration of the new year. The “holy convocation” described next is the “Day of Atonement” or Yom Kippur, an annual day set aside to atone for sins. Finally comes the “Feast of Tabernacles” (Heb. Sukkot), a joyful festival commemorating the 40 years of wandering and the harvest. “Tabernacles” refers not the Tabernacle God had them build, but to the temporary booths the people lived in during that time.
The tribes of Reuben and Gad, along with half of Manasseh, were given land in the “Transjordan,” an area to the east of the Jordan River. They will leave their families there while the men continue across the river with the other tribes to help conquer Canaan.
From chapter 32: who among those who came out of Egypt were granted passage into the Promised Land, and why?
Join the discussion below!
These are the children of those that crossed the Red Sea. Joshua and Caleb were the only ones from that original group that crossed – only ones that trusted that God would lead them into the land of Canaan (Nm 14:5-10). Over the forty years of wandering, the others had perished. “For the Lord had said of them – they shall die in the wilderness.” (Nm 26:64-65). This new generation has grown up in the wilderness, did not experience the culture of the Egyptians, saw the glory of God through His many acts of great love for them. But the question is, have they learned, will they remember?
Good question! The problem is that they are still children! They are susceptible to outside pressures still from the pagan peoples they are fighting against/displacing, etc., which is why God told them to completely destroy their enemies, lest they be barbs in their eyes and thorns in their sides (Num. 33:55).
Part of the problem could be that there was a common belief that if a people possess riches, such as good land, bountiful harvests, etc., they must be blessed by powerful gods, and the temptation is to set aside the One True God for the false gods of these other peoples.
The tribes of Gadites and Reubenites agreed to Moses order to leave their families at East of Jordan river for as long as they will lead the Israelites in full force battle until they have driven the enemies out of the way and the land is subdued before the Lord to enter Canaan. Here is the good effect of plain dealing. Moses, by showing their sin, and the danger of it, brought them to their duty, without murmuring or disputing. All men ought to consider the interests of others as well as their own; the law of love requires us to labor, venture, or suffer for each other as there may be occasion. They propose that their men of war should go ready armed before the children of Israel into the land of Canaan, and that they should not return till the conquest of Canaan was ended. Moses grants their request, but he warns them of the danger of breaking their word. If you fail, you sin against the Lord, and not against your brethren only; God will certainly reckon with you for it. Be sure your sin will find you out. Sin will surely find out the sinner sooner or later. It concerns us now to find our sins out, that we may repent of them, and forsake them, lest they find us out to our ruin.
Good application, Jose, thanks!
You’re very much welcome, Kerry.
I wonder how many people are like the Gadites and the Reubenites ready to settle outside the promised land. I have often prayed to God for just a cooler place in Hell.
Well, true believers outside of Palestine, perhaps is the answer. And the answer to your prayer, let us listen to Prophet Al Gore, Sorry, I am not so serious in posting this, Barbara.
Only Caleb and Joshua were granted entry to the Promised Land. At this point they are the only “elders” Joshua accompanied Moses to the foot of Sinai when Moses recieved the Ten Commandments” They are the only ones who have remained faithful to God throughout the entire Exodus and Wandering in the Desert. Think about how hard this is. How many of us can say “I have been 100% faithful to God for over “forty years”? I am 72 years old and I confess that the majority of that time I have not been faithful to God and I definately was not put to the test like the Israelites. Many times, I have not trusted God as Joshua and Caleb did. Josuha gladly accepted the responsibliity of leadership. No moaning and saying I am not worthy, no excuses. Just “the will of the LORD be done.
I am with you, Barbara — I look back at my life and the times I have been a “mechanical Catholic” and it seems such a blur. Amazing how God blesses us nonetheless! I thank God for the increase in Catholic Scripture study opportunities, and forums such as this, to dialogue, learn from each other, lift each other. I praise God for the spiritual beefing up ahead of whatever pain, suffering and persecution is inevitably (the natural human condition) headed my way!
I like that term “mechanical catholic” and agree that sometimes we have to really take pause and just not go through the motions but actually live the catholic life with every ounce of our being. This forum has been and is so wonderful. I have a tough time muddling through some of the OT so these summations help me understand a lot of what I am reading. It is also nice to touch base each day with such a wonderful group of people that I never would have “met” otherwise. I don’t get to post everyday due to a FT job, being in school, and having a 2 and 1 year old but when I am able to I like to read these posts and catch up. After Day 90, I hope there is a forum to keep these conversations going. Blessings all
Good to hear from you whenever you can squeeze it in, Mark. Take comfort! We are 1/3 through!
Already 1/3 of the way through and we haven’t reached the the Promised Land. Sounds like the story of my life.
I like also that “mechanical catholic” the result is skin deep faith. My country is one of those Christianized in a mechanical catholic, so our folks were of skin deep faith. So when I was young and beginning to understand the Bible through our catechism teaching I am also beginning to compare what my parents talking about. I come to realize and sometimes wonder, why my Dad seem talking based on the Bible and while my parents didn’t even get to school, neither our grandparents did. Those maybe are the human traditions that Jesus never condemn them.
I’ve had a lot of difficulty in reading Numbers…to me it seems like God is ok with people killing and abusing each other…maybe I’m reading these chapters in simplistic terms…but I’m having a hard time finding God in all this… as we look around in our world now we can still see the same evil we are reading about in the Book of Numbers…
I surely understand, Ellen. I cannot wait to ask about this when I get to heaven!! One thing that does help me, though, is to consider the pagan peoples represent sin in various forms – idolatry, faithlessness chief among them. The fight is to eradicate this sinfulness from humankind, that we may live in holiness.
I HAVE A QUESTION THAT DOES NOT RELATE DIRECTLY TO THIS LESSON ..THE NO. 40 APPEARS MANY TIMES IN THE BIBLE ..IS THIS TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY OR DOES IT JUST MEAN A LONG PERIOD OFTIME??? RAY
Ummmm…..maybe both? Numbers hold a LOT of meaning to the Jewish faithful, hence in Scripture. You can google all this, I am sure. But 40 represents a time of struggle or trial (Noah and the Ark for 40 days, Christ in the desert for 40 days); seven is the number of completeness, etc.
Have a look at: http://www.divinemercysundayusa.com/Divine%20Mercy%20and%20The%20Biblical%20Significance%20of%2040%20Days.doc. I don’t want to spoil the story but the number 40 will keep cropping up.
Liz I couldn’t get the web site to open
for me but thanks I went on google and got a lot of different opinions ..I would like a catholic interpretation though Ray
Ray, The link went into a word document but I managed to get the Divine Mercy Site (its Catholic) so I hope this works. http://www.divinemercysundayusa.com/im.shtml
Liz Thank you so much for trying to help…I could get to the site, but would have to buy word to read the article I found a lot of good info. relating to the no. 40 so I’ll settle for what I found thank you again Ray
Thank you for the link of the Number 40 I found it most interesting It covers all the Biblical 40’s
The punishment for sin is death. When Adam and Eve sinned they brought suffering and death into humanity. God cleansed sin during Noah’s time, at Sodom and Gommarah, during the desert wanderings, etc…. Through death.
When Jesus came, he came to suffer and die for our sins. It was once explained to me this way. Think of yourself as sitting in a court room and you are being sentenced for your sins. The penalty for sin is death. So your are being given a death sentence. But all of a sudden the courtroom doors are flung open and Jesus comes up behind you and and says to the judge, “Take me instead!”. He steps in and asks the judge to spare your life and He in return will suffer the sentence for you.
We have the choice to allow Him to do this for us or to reject His offer and pay the eternal price ourselves! So no longer do we have to die eternally, we can say yes, please do that for me (thanking Him with our praise, our belief in him, and our actions of love in the world) or we can say no to Him.
Hi Ellen, take the “killings” as a outcome of sin or a figurative “eradication” of sin. The books of the Old Testament were written in a culture that experienced violence. Using violence as a metaphor for the outcome of sin was an easy way to make the messages relevant to those readers of the time and today for that matter – we’re still in an age of violence as demonstrated in our films and sports. Throughout the readings, God is being characterized to perfection when He’s shown as merciful despite man’s failings. Hope this helps….
BTW, wait until you see what the prophet Samuel does to one of the kings Saul was supposed to “eradicate”. When we get to that part of the story, we’ll talk again…
I share your perplexity entirely, Ellen. I experienced the same distaste for much of the Old Testament story so far. It seems dominated by slaughter both of animals and humans; an excessive preoccupation with ritual sacrifice and “pleasing offerings” to a God whose anger seems all too readily kindled against the people. And would someone, anyone, explain to me the logic of Num. Cap: 31,v. 8. Was not this the same Balaam that Yahweh used as His prophet in caps. 22-24? It is this sort of inconsistency in the OT that I find so exasperating.
Ellen and Warwick, let me also apply our distasteful feeling in reading these OT books, to our feelings itself. Many or perhaps all non-Catholics in their justification to know what is a Bible without the Church is their feeling that it goes in reading the inspired word of God as inspirational. Wow!! it must have been a very good feeling, like you are being swing in a hammock suspended in the abyss!!. Inspirational? Maybe some books and verses, but mostly distasteful, scary
I am afraid that I don’t understand the point your are trying to make.
Hi Warwick, I was surprise you ask my point I am trying to make. The emotions we may have in reading Scriptures is irrelevant as yardstick to put the canon of the Bible. So non-catholic stand to know the bible without the church is not valid. Though not related to our topic.
Ellen and Warwick, I also find this a challenging image of God. I am hoping to gain a better understanding and I would love some clarification. I recognise that as Catholics we see “Truth” rather than “Fact” in the Bible and I am sure that we need to see all these readings through a prism of the culture of the time and the literary style that would prevail at that time for those people. However, I am still none the wiser!
Thank you Liza for your thoughtful comments. I entirely agree that the Old Testament needs to be read within the cultural frame of the time. At this distance it may well seem incomprehensible in places if not completely alien. I think it’s value will be to enhance our understanding of the society in which Jesus moved and add weight to his actions and teaching. Jesus was of course a devout Jew up until his death and would have been familiar with the Mosaic underpinnings of his religion.
Thanks Warwick, wondered the same thing! I did some searching and I think that Balaam was not true to God. I suspect there is more info on this in other books of the bible. Here is an excerpt I found a few minutes ago regarding the killing of the Kings and Balaam after the battle was over:
…But, more than all others, Balaam deserved and got the just reward of his deeds. His conduct had been atrociously sinful, considering the knowledge he possessed, and the revelations he had received, of the will of God. For any one in his circumstances to attempt defeating the prophecies he had himself been the organ of uttering, and plotting…
I just found that Deuteronomy 18:20 says: But if a prophet presumes to speak a word in my namel that I have not commanded, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.
Kevin, where did you find this text about Balaam? It’s explains my confusion over his fate, as well. I’m with you and some of the others, thinking that the God we hear about today as a loving, merciful God seemed incredibly cruel throughout the OT. Then I read Karen’s and Joe’s entries (thank you, btw) and it seems to make more sense to me. I can’t say that I still fully understand, but that’s why we “study,” right?
My knee jerk reaction was exactly the same as many others here, but my gut feeling, was that there must have been some foul play by Balaam that we have not read yet. Warwick’s post prompted me to do a search! I looked at many results and found one that fit. I could not find any explanations on Catholic websites, but at http://biblehub.com/joshua/13-22.htm , scrolling down past all the comparisons, beginning Pulpit Commentary, they start talking about it. It did not seem to be anti-catholic, and it made sense. It was a much shorter version than the commentary directly at Numbers 31:8 http://biblehub.com/numbers/31-8.htm which is a much longer read, but has more details.
Kevin I do believe the Pulpit Commentary at biblehub.com is either Angelican or Episcopalian so it is very close to Catholic scholarship.
Janet I believe that the harsh God of the OT is definately the same God of the New Testament is the very same God as the God of today. Only now we can see clearly the eternal effects of harsh punishment. Do you believe that all those who were put to the sword are in Hell? I don’t think so. I certainly do believe that many are in Purgatory. Perhaps I shall meet Balaam in purgatory. It would be interesting to meet someone who talked to ( ok I won’t go there)
Barbara, I’m glad you brought up where those who died during OT times might be now. In my discipleship group, we’ve pondered this very question. I agree with you, that many may have been or are now in Purgatory. I don’t believe God would exclude those many individuals because Jesus hadn’t yet come to redeem us. Thank God for Purgatory and His never-ending mercy!
I absolutely agree with you Ellen! One thing that allows me to keep going through these very challenging readings is that while the Israelites were in Egypt for 400 years God was placed on the back burner. Only when they cried out for help and with the help of Moses were they freed. Now God, even though we truly know He was always there, is awakening in their lives. I believe the moments when God was so “ruthless” are really Him reminding the Israelites of His power and presence…….”I’ll show you what I can do if you cross me!” Remember, our God is a jealous God! He made this abundantly clear. In a nutshell, even though so appearingly cruel He is just wanting to ensure that He is revered as the one and only God, and the Israelites after having God absent from their lives for so long need continual, shock and awe treatment. In the New Testament, we receive Jesus and His power of forgiveness. What would forgiveness be if we didn’t have a God to forgive us? Just a meaningless act, which in my opinion, would provide no chance of eternal salvation. I certainly hope I didn’t further confuse you as I am truly a novice who is trying to make sense of my purpose in life. Have a blessed day and know you are never alone with what you find difficult. This is what makes this discussion thread so wonderful.
Hi Ellen, you are not alone having difficult to understand why our merciful God who is full with love but directed the Israelites to kill. As a simple person, I will removed the weeds out of my lawn whenever I spotted them. The weeds will cover the lawn quicker than the grass if I let them continue to grow. In the OT period, there were limited people who fully trust in God, the way to describe our God who seems like a harsh judge in killing others as a way to prevent more Israelite to fall out their faith in God. When Jesus came, He is the light of the world, and in Him there is no darkness. We have to keep Jesus in our focus to prevent us from being a ‘mechanical Catholic’.
The new generation of Israelites were granted passage into the Promised Land, along with Caleb and Joshua. The old generation died without access due to sin, along with Moses and Aaron. The Reubenites, Gadites and half-tribe of Manassah chose land east of the Jordan because it was good land for their cattle. They promised to help secure Canaan for the rest of Israel, so the men all crossed into the Promised Land as well, to return to their people after the conquest.
A full generation had passed away in the wilderness. Only a few such as Caleb and Joshua remained to cross the Jordan in the Promised Land. The last generation represents all that needed to be shed from the “body”; the old ways, the sinful ways. And in doing so, the “new body” is ready for the next leg of the journey. It’s compared to our baptism – she shed sin through the holy waters to be reborn into the body of Christ. Why? Because any obstacles or impediments block us from having a strong relationship with God.
Wow, this Bible study is wonderful! All about faithfulness, and I’m so thankful to all of you who have faithfully commented, for this is one way we learn. I have done the readings each day and then I eagerly read through the comments. Every day someone has helped me see something in a new light. Could someone help me not feel sorry for Moses? I guess he understood his fate, though, because there is no recording of his pleading when God gave him the news that he wasn’t to set foot in the Promised Land. I get it that he did things slightly differently than what God instructed with the rock. I like that he gave no excuses. I am so frustrated with the Israelies and then I realize I am so them!
I love your question. When we did the Bible Timeline study, our whole discussion table had that same question! We all felt that none of us would have been able to put up with a group like that 🙂 but then, we need to remember your last line- we are right there with you!
Don’t feel sorry for Moses. Moses is about 120 years old. He has had to take care of these often ungratful people for 40 years I really think he would be ready to pass the responsibility remember he was reluctant to take the gig in the first place. I think he was quite grateful to rest with his fathers.
Ann, I am truly not an expert but feel as if Moses willingly and proudly excepts his fate. After all, if he was angry or bitter he would have quit being their leader. Instead, knowing full well he would never enter Canaan he continued to lead the Israelites. What a true follower of God! He lived a life that was in true service to the Lord and not himself. He lead the Israelites out of Egypt after 400 years of slavery plus 40 years of desert wanderings. Although he never enters into Canaan he gets something better, God will gather him to his people, Heaven over Canaan I think God knew best, as always, and his servant Moses serves Him faithfully to the end.
Everyone has offered the answer to the question plus insightful thoughts, so all I can offer is an observation on something that stood out for me. The Reubenites and Gadites found the area just short of the promised land attractive and half the tribe of Manasseh joined them. They were told that they could have the land if they and their servants marched into battle with the Israelites to guarantee the success of the war. It was the wording that I found significant ” then you may return here, free from every obligation to the LORD and to Israel, and this land will be your possession before the LORD. ” It seemed that they did not trust that God would truly give them a land better than what was under their noses. They were eager to be free from every obligation to God and their brothers and sisters and were separating themselves from God and family. I found this to be very sad.
It seems a reflection of Christianity. Jesus established the Church with Peter the foundation and holder of the keys. Within a short time individuals gathered followers (like founding a tribe) and separated themselves from Church and family. The Israelites could only succeed if all the men went into battle with God, so we continue to struggle as many of our brothers and sisters do not join in the great battles of today. Like the Reubenites and Gadites, not everyone is able to completely journey to the end or enjoy the fruits and bounties that come from a complete victory.
Liz, I didn’t have time to post earlier in the day but share the exact sentiments as you. Why didn’t they want to enter Canaan? They knew better than God and then they bargained to remain outside to raise their cattle herds….I was quite frankly shocked that God was so accommodating. Did I miss something?
Michelle. I agree God is very accommodating and has remained so, otherwise, where would some of be? How many people grew up Catholic and left the Church (some becoming anti-Catholic). God (in his mercy) doesn’t abandon them, he lets them wander and keeps inviting them home. Then when the mucky sinner realises the error of their ways, what happens? An open arm welcome!. No one yells, judges or punishes, instead the sinner has the dirt wiped from their faces, wounds tended, and is offered nourishment. I don’t know what happened to the Reubenites and Gadites, but I am still humbled by my reception and journey since coming home some 13 years ago.
Thank you for your nice thoughts. We are always welcome with open arms if we ask for forgiveness. Have a blessed day, Liz.
Sort of like the Prodigal Son who wants his fortune all at once and leaves his Father’s house and then looses everything due to sin and seems content at that point to waddle in the mud of the pigs, something very disgusting to a Jew whose law forbids being with pigs and pork. Once the prodigal realizes his wrong he wrong he goes back to his Father. Frank Runyon, Christian actor and once actor on daily soap operas (which I think are a waste of time) talks about this parable in that we are not only the prodigals but also the jealous son at home too who actually have it all but do not want the others, at times to share in the banquet even though they come home and say they are sorry. Both sons needed to improve just like the Israelites in the desert who have God with them all of the time but are not satisfied, do not want to obey, and so forth, I have went to a couple of his presentation and he has many insights. His website is
Frank Runyon gives a presentation “Hollywood versus Faith.” It is the struggle to live faithfully in the media. He says that the richness of life and happiness is where God is present at the Mass and the Holy Eucharist. Many of us, he says, are at mass and even during the Scriptural Readings and fail to hear what God is telling us (much like the failure of the Israelites to listen to God in the desert and “miss the mark” which is sin as Jeff Cavins says. So often, during the mass we are so anxious to get back into the “desert of materialism and relativism,” “the flow of shopping for things,” that we miss the wealth of what God really wants to give to us (as too with the Israelites when God wants to give to them when they should cross the river and go further. We often want to remain in the “mud of the barnyard of the Prodigal Son.”
Matthew Kelly, Australian businessman and world traveler-inspiring motivational speaker, in his books talks about 7 percent of the people of a parish contributing most of the finances and so forth while the other 97 percent are carried along without much effort. He says that we should think of what great significance would abound if more did their fair share of what is needed. His formula is prayer, study, generosity, and evangelization.
I have a confession to make, yesterday I spent two hours with five days worth of readings as I had gotten behind!!
I noticed a few things along the way that I thought I would mention. First I noticed that the Isrealites weren’t always sinning. The most intriguing thing I noticed was while they were building the ark of the covenant. God had asked for many specific things and they completed them ‘just as The Lord’ had said. Then they were asked to give of their own orecious belongings, they brought and brought until Moses had to tell them to stop as there was too much! This have me much hope for my life today and a reminder that God loves us for a reason, we are good and generous. What joy there is in reminding ourselves how special we are
Very good indeed, the reason is because God has already planted goodness in our hearts while we were still in the wombs of our mothers. But doing good is not always good. It is only good if that goodness can be ultimately trace that its coming from Christ.
I just got done reading the suggested Divine Mercy site and the significance of the number 40. Wow, I’m amazed how many of them I had missed when reading the bible the first time from cover to cover. This study group is amazing and has helped me love the study of scripture more. I always look forward to the next day.
Ah Sharon you must be young not to recognize the significance of 40 years. You know that birthday with the black balloons 🙂 That being said I have always been taught that Lent represents Jesus’ 40 Days in the desert, which represented the 40 years wandering.
That’s funny about the 40 yr birthday black balloons, you made me smile! The comments here about “40” got me to looking,
and just for the fun of it, I looked at Wikipedia… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/40_%28number%29
It not only shows various biblical/religious significance, i.e. A long period of time, typically of Testing/Trial, or Judgment.
It also shows some interesting significance with: Mathematics,
Astronomy, and several other things that were interesting.
Numbers is sometimes a tedious book to read because of so many repetitions; however, there is very often a 10th of some possession being given to the priests for sacrifice to the Lord. In my mind, this is the institution of tithing and teaching the Israelites to provide a portion of their “treasure” to the Lord.
As for who is invited into the Promised Land: Moses is left behind and gathered to his people as he disobeyed the Lord – he is able to “see” the Promised Land but is not allowed to set foot onto its soil. None of the generation of Israelites who were taken out of Egypt were brought into the Promised Land – only their descendants. The generation who left Egypt would have died in the wilderness in those 40 years of wandering so the tribes would be purged of the Egyptian ways, traditions, worship rituals, and beliefs. The Lord only allowed those Israelites with faith and obedience to Him alone to cross the Jordan. The only exceptions were Caleb and Joshua because they had shown their love for and obedience of the Lord unwaveringly.
Just a thought…if we compare ourselves with the whining, complaining Israelites, does that mean we don’t make it to the Promise land?
Oh, Carolyn, I sincerely hope not. Makes you want to straighten up and follow God’s path obediently.
Yes, it does make one think about our thoughts and actions.
Well, the Promised Land is a symbol of heaven is a way. God tells us that we have to be perfect in order to enter heaven but if there still remains attachment to sins, we have to be cleansed or suffer the lose of his face and probably fire too, in purgatory before we enter the Promised Land of heaven.
Thanks Mike. That makes sense.
Only Caleb and Joshua, as stated in Numbers 14:24 and v30:
24 But as for my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and follows me unreservedly. 30 not one of you shall enter the land where I solemnly swore to settle you, except Caleb, son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, son of Nun.
2 things to note:
First, once again ‘Spirit’ is singled out here in Caleb, as in yesterdays question it was Joshua’s ‘Spirit’ (see my response Day 29 – “Take Joshua, son of Nun, a man of spirit,”). It is always the Holy Spirit.
Second, I just came to realize Moses wasn’t mentioned! Although we are all familiar with the story and knew in advance, if you read as if it’s the first time, you may just assume Moses was going and didn’t need to be mentioned. And after serving God faithfully for so long, he still was expected to be a perfect follower-
V:11… “because they have not followed me unreservedly” which can be understood as “surely none … shall see … because they have not perfectly followed me.” It wasn’t good enough to just follow – he had to PERFECTLY FOLLOW. I guess from a person trusted with so much, so much is expected in return.
Joshua and Caleb are the only individuals who left Egypt. Caleb and Joshua have remained faithful to God since leaving Egypt, that is about 41+ years. I am nearly 73 years old, I don’t believe I could pick out from those years 41 single years when I have been faithful to God let alone 40 consecutive years. Now they are both in their 60′ s possibly in their 70’s and they have an even more daunting task ahead of them. Already there is trouble. The tribes of Reuban and Gad don’t want any part of the Promised Land. They want second best. They are even willing to fight for the Promised Land, but they still want second best. That seems to be the story of my life, always choosing second best. .
Thank you all for your comments. They enrich my reading of the Bible.
Barb I know of many of the forty days and the significance, but that reading brought my attention to more. Not young either. Over 60.
I often reflect on the confusion that can be understood when you read the prescriptions provided in Numbers for the Feasts, the sacrifices required and then read in the New Testament how God does not desire these…that was one of the challenges the Jews had….God saying one thing, then Christ saying another. We, looking back have been given the grace of the Holy Spirit to understand what this meant….I pray for the gift of the Spirit to open others eyes as well.
In the New Testament there is the 40 years from the begining of Jesus’ public ministery to the distruction of the temple,
Numbers play a big part in the Bible such as 1 being primacy and greatness of God. 2 refers to two witnesses needed to judge a crime. In the Book of Revelation, 3 and 1/2 is limited or restricted time frame. 4 refers to the cosmos, creation four animals, four winds, four corners, and creatures such as the four beasts depicting the Gospel writers. 6 is imperfection. 7 is completeness or covenant. 10means short, incomplete, finite. 1,000 is a long time but nevertheless, finite. 12 is continuity with the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 apostles also. 144,000 represents all of God’s people in union with Him.
I am a day late for these readings, but I always want to make notes of the questions for the day, to reflect on what I read that day.
Caleb and Joshua are the only men allowed to enter the Promised Land because they followed the laws of the Lord. They believed in the messages of Moses from God maintaining their trust and faith. How easy it is for God to choose because there are so few that are willing to sacrifice with humility in God’s word. This is a lesson for me to stay strong and never let myself be defeated with anger, jealousy, temptation or impatient grumbling.
It may have been the day before, but I will comment here about “imposition of the hands” and the power of God that goes with it. Moses laid his hands upon Joshua and Joshua, chosen by God, became the new leader of the Israelites. So too, in the New Testament, the apostles are anointed by God by the imposition of hands upon the person; the sacraments use this gift of the Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church’s leaders are authentic and given their gifts from God by the successors of the apostles. It is evident that the Holy Spirit is at work in history; it is without a doubt, that God is present in history. The supreme sacrament is the Holy Eucharist with the coming down of the Holy Spirit with the hands of the ordained priest over the bread and the wine so that during the consecration, the bread and wine, although remaining the same in appearance, change in all actuality into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. This is not true of any other substances known to man in that the appearances of the elements remain the same to the human senses. However, there are miracles of the Eucharist where this change is evident and where God does work Eucharistic Miracles for the benefit of the Faith–and yet, one does not have to depend upon them to believe, for the Spirit of God will tell you the Truth. Isn’t it marvelous to be a Catholic!
Within this reading of chapter 32, this self talk to want to wager with the Lord is an area I must grown in. When given a direction from the Lord I need to up my trust and faith that he is directing me where he wants me. Same is true her. Afte the flare up from the Lord he clearly states that the only ones who have followed him reserved lay are Caleb and Joshua. And those are the two granted passage into the Promise Land.
Caleb and Joshua and the next generation of Israelites to enter the promised land. The rest never really trusted God to meet their needs. They were not faithful. Trust is a hard virtue. To truly believe that God is good and he wants your good. It takes a lifetime to reach that point for most. It is an onward growth as we mature and hopefully don’t get more set in our ways as we age.