International Sunday School Lesson
For Week Ending August 9, 2009
For Week Ending August 9, 2009
Purpose: To explore how dissatisfaction and complaint lead to rebellion and disobedience.
Scripture Text: Numbers 14:1-12 (NRSV)
(1)Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. (2)And all the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron; the whole congregation said to them, ‘Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! (3)Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become booty; would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?’ (4)So they said to one another, ‘Let us choose a captain, and go back to Egypt.’ (5) Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the Israelites. (6)And Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes (7)and said to all the congregation of the Israelites, ‘The land that we went through as spies is an exceedingly good land.
(8)If the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. (9)Only, do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they are no more than bread for us; their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.’ (10)But the whole congregation threatened to stone them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. (11)And the Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will this people despise me? And how long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? (12)I will strike them with pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.’
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
I would like to give you a little time line for today's text. It was about two month’s time from Egypt to Sinai, an additional nine months ten days were spent at Sinai receiving the law and instructions. Once the Israelites broke camp and headed to Kadesh-Barnea the travel time was about two months. So from Egypt to Kadesh-Barnea was a total of one year one month and ten days. That brings us to Numbers 10:11. Last week’s lesson and this lesson both take place in the Wilderness of Paran. God had promised the Children of Israel a new home, one with milk and honey, now they were in a position to claim it, but first they wanted to spy out the land. They selected a tribesman from each tribe and sent them ahead to spy out the area. The majority of the spies came back with a confirmation that indeed the land was full of milk and honey as God had said, but it was also full of fortified cities and armies and even giants, so the majorities' advise was to not go into the land God had promised. That is where today's text begins.
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