Israel wanting to back to Egypt
Exodus 32: 1 is a progression in the story of the People’s discontent with God and Moses. They had crumbled and test God ten times in this progression and it will come to a head in Numbers 14. In this installment of the story Moses is on Mount Sinai getting the tablets of the Law, he was gone a long time and the people want a physical “god” they can follow.
In Numbers 14 the spies have come back from the Land and Joshua and Caleb are the only ones to have a good report. The people lose their minds and work themselves up to pick a new leader and go back to Egypt! Most of the time when I have heard this taught the speaker says something about slavery and all of the bad things that happened. What if, they were planning to go back and attack Egypt and enslave them! They had been trained and were ready to go fight for the Land. It is only two years since they left Egypt and they had left Egypt in shambles. (It is interesting that in Numbers 13: 33 they saw themselves as grasshoppers. The hordes of grasshoppers that do invade the lands of the Middle East are still today viewed with dread!). It would make sense that they felt they could conquer Egypt or at least a part of it and live there. How many times are Christians plagued with the thought that at least some portion of the old life could be made acceptable because going forward seems so hard?
Caleb and Joshua
This thought about Joshua and Caleb has left me hanging! Did their families (wife and children) go in with them, if they were over nineteen years of age? Numbers 14:20 starts the consequence part of failing to obey the Lord’s voice. God drew a boundary of twenty years as the age of who would get in. We know from Joshua 15:13 and Joshua 24: 15 that both of those men had families in the Promised Land. Caleb tells his age in Joshua 14: 7 (40 yrs.) when he explored the land. He could have had “family” by then. I know a lot can happen in thirty-eight years, Caleb had a daughter in Joshua 15: 16. She was the reward for taking the land that Caleb had received from the Lord.
Since everyone over nineteen years old did not make it in, I will go that they had their families after the spying incident. (Remember, girls, married in their teens and sometimes the men were older and established before they took wives.)
Caleb was eighty-five at the time he asked Joshua for the right to “take” his land. so, 45 – 38 means that at that point the conquest was seven years old. Forty-five is how long he had been kept alive and thirty-eight was the wandering time. (See thirty-eight) (See Out of Egypt)
It would have been hard for me to watch everyone I know to die! On a different note -Numbers 14: 20 does say that the people had been forgiven, just that they were not going into the Land.
Miracles are given to confirm the word of the Lord and strengthen our faith – learn from them!
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