Deuteronomy
1-4 Place and Date of Moses’ Speech 5-8 Command to Enter the Land 9-18 The Appointment of Leaders 19-21 In Kadesh-barnea 22-25 The Twelve Spies 26-28 Refusal to Go up 29-33 God’s Faithfulness and the People’s Unbelief 34-39 The Anger of the LORD 40-43 The Presumption of the People 44-46 The People Crushingly Defeated
Place and Date of Moses’ Speech

1These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab. 2It is eleven days’ [journey] from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. 3In the fortieth year, on the first [day] of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that the LORD had commanded him [to give] to them, 4after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei.

Moses addresses “all Israel”, no one excepted. The place and date at which he speaks are indicated. He speaks his speech on the banks of the Jordan, the river that separates the people from the land. The environment, the wilderness, recalls the journey. They are located “in the Arabah”, which means “on the Plain”, a place where no one can hide and from where they can clearly perceive the surroundings.

The book contains the words that Moses has spoken (verse 11These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab.), entirely as the LORD wants (verse 33In the fortieth year, on the first [day] of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that the LORD had commanded him [to give] to them,) and that Moses unfolds or explains (verse 55Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound this law, saying,). That makes the whole book a direct authoritative speaking of God. He is the source of it. We would do well to realize this while reading and thinking about this book. Moses is the mediator – and the type of the Lord Jesus who speaks God’s Word with authority – through whom God’s words come to us. He does everything to make the Word of God clear to the people and to make them understand it correctly.

The journey could have lasted eleven days. That time is needed for the journey from Horeb, which is Mount Sinai, to Kadesh-barnea, the southern entrance in the land. Because of unbelief, however, it took them forty years, counted from the exodus from Egypt to the entry into the land (for ‘forty years’ see Num 14:29-3529your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me.30Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.31Your children, however, whom you said would become a prey—I will bring them in, and they will know the land which you have rejected.32But as for you, your corpses will fall in this wilderness.33Your sons shall be shepherds for forty years in the wilderness, and they will suffer [for] your unfaithfulness, until your corpses lie in the wilderness.34According to the number of days which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall bear your guilt a year, [even] forty years, and you will know My opposition.35I, the LORD, have spoken, surely this I will do to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be destroyed, and there they will die.’”; 32:1313So the LORD’s anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the entire generation of those who had done evil in the sight of the LORD was destroyed.; Deu 8:2-52You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.3He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.4Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.5Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.; 29:5-65I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot.6You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the LORD your God.; Heb 3:7-197Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice,8Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness,9Where your fathers tried [Me] by testing [Me], And saw My works for forty years.10“Therefore I was angry with this generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they did not know My ways’;11As I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’”12Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.13But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is [still] called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.14For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,15while it is said, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”16For who provoked [Him] when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt [led] by Moses?17And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?18And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?19[So] we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.). The number ‘forty’ speaks of trial, testing. It speaks of a period in which one’s heart and qualities are tested. For us it is not literally forty years, nor is it a literal wilderness. The spiritual lesson is that by our own failure and unfaithfulness we often take longer to take possession of blessings than if we had remained faithful.

The dating in verse 33In the fortieth year, on the first [day] of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that the LORD had commanded him [to give] to them, shows that the end of the fortieth year is in sight. This means that there are a completely different people stationed in the plains of Moab than the people who have left Egypt. At that moment it is time for a review.

Heshbon is the capital of Moab, but was conquered by Sihon, a king of the Amorites. Og is also a king of the Amorites. Sihon rules over the southern part of the wilderness side of the Jordan and Og over the northern part of it. The defeat of Sihon and Og is described in Deuteronomy 2:24-3:11.

The reference to defeating these two kings is a spiritual condition for understanding what Moses is going to say. The spiritual blessings of the heavenly land will not be known to us if we have not properly taken possession of the earthly blessings. (See further explanation of Numbers 21:21-35 in ‘Numbers – Explained & Applied’.


Command to Enter the Land

5Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound this law, saying, 6“The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7Turn and set your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negev and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. 8See, I have placed the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to them and their descendants after them.’

Before the conquest of the land begins, Moses undertakes to expound God’s law. He does not present the people with an artfully devised war plan. The only sure method of taking possession of and keeping the land is obedience to God’s commandments. That also applies to us. If we want to know the blessings that are our part in Christ, it is not by incorporating them into our minds. We will only get to know them if we submit our lives in obedience to God’s Word.

The start of the journey is at the Horeb. The people have spent about a year there. Moses cites God’s command to leave the Horeb and go to Canaan. He also explains the reason: they have now been there long enough to be prepared for the upcoming journey. If God finds something long enough, it is because He has achieved His goal. He then lets His own move on to the next experience with Him. In Numbers 10 we read about the command to set out: “So they moved out for the first time according to the commandment of the LORD through Moses” (Num 10:1313So they moved out for the first time according to the commandment of the LORD through Moses.). Now they are told where to go.

Before there is talk of actual setting out in verse 1919“Then we set out from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, just as the LORD our God had commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea., Moses recalls two events at the Horeb. The first is what God has said about the land. He presents it in its vastness. Now the enemies still live there, but He has given it to His people. Moses joins God in swearing to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that He will give them and their descendants the land (Gen 15:18-2118On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying,
“To your descendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:
19the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite20and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim21and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”
; 22:16-1716and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,17indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.; 26:3-53Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham.4I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;5because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.”; 35:1212“The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac,
I will give it to you,
And I will give the land to your descendants after you.”
). The ‘land’ is mentioned about 160 times in this book. Now they are just before the fulfilment of the promise.

The land was not chosen by them, but for them. God has chosen this land for them and He has chosen them to live there. God’s heart is full of the land. If their hearts were filled with the love of God, they would be just as full of His land. But their hearts are filled with other things. That is the second thing Moses talks about, which we hear between the lines when he talks about appointing judges.


The Appointment of Leaders

9“I spoke to you at that time, saying, ‘I am not able to bear [the burden] of you alone. 10The LORD your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are this day like the stars of heaven in number. 11May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand-fold more than you are and bless you, just as He has promised you! 12How can I alone bear the load and burden of you and your strife? 13Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ 14You answered me and said, ‘The thing which you have said to do is good.’ 15So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and appointed them heads over you, leaders of thousands and of hundreds, of fifties and of tens, and officers for your tribes. 16“Then I charged your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear [the cases] between your fellow countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countryman, or the alien who is with him. 17You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’ 18I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.

At the same time that God was talking about the inheritance, Moses had to speak to them about their troubles, which he could not bear alone, and about their quarrels. It is with him like the letter-writer Judas who “was making every effort to write you about our common salvation”, but was forced “to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” (Jude 1:33Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.).

The people had increased in crowd. As a result, the quarrels among them also increased. The church is no different (Acts 6:11Now at this time while the disciples were increasing [in number], a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic [Jews] against the [native] Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving [of food].). To overcome the difficulties between the members of God’s people, Moses proposed to appoint leaders. The people agreed. Thus, the burden was shared among more people. If there were any disputes, they could go to their judges.

The judges had to meet four conditions:
1. judge righteously, whether it be a brother or a stranger;
2. judge without regard to the person, not taking into account someone’s position;
3. judge without fear of human retribution, knowing that they were speaking justice on behalf of God;
4. acknowledge that there are also too heavy things (own weakness and limitation) that they could bring to Moses.

Also in the church there are leaders, that is, believers who have been given responsibility (1Thes 5:12-1312But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,13and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.). As Moses appointed them in Israel, so the Lord Jesus does now. Such believers will meet the four conditions mentioned above. It is good to go to such believers with certain things and to ask their advice. There may also be things that require us to go directly to the true Moses. Lawsuits are the result of quarrels along the way.


In Kadesh-barnea

19“Then we set out from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, just as the LORD our God had commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20I said to you, ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites which the LORD our God is about to give us. 21See, the LORD your God has placed the land before you; go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’

The terrible wilderness served to long for the land. The refreshments of the wilderness are bitter refreshments. We must learn to “exult in our tribulations” (Rom 5:3-53And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.). The result will be that the love of God increases and with it the love for the brothers and sisters. Then the quarrels disappear and we enter the plains of Moab where we are filled with the love God has for us.

Moses does everything to encourage the people to take possession of the land. He tells them not to fear or be dismayed. This indicates that the people were not insistent on taking possession of the land. This is also clear from the next section, where the people ask to send spies. Moses points out that God has spoken that they will have the land, and if God has spoken, no power can turn it back. The only thing that causes not take possession of what God has promised is unbelief.

God makes everything available to us, we may take possession of it. God’s grace can grant us it. The Word of God’s grace is enough to give us the inheritance (Acts 20:3232And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build [you] up and to give [you] the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.). How come if someone does not take possession of it? Because in such a man is an evil, unbelieving heart (Heb 3:7-127Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice,8Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness,9Where your fathers tried [Me] by testing [Me], And saw My works for forty years.10“Therefore I was angry with this generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they did not know My ways’;11As I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’”12Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.). It is about a difference in heart: is it evil and unbelieving or is the love of God poured out by the Holy Spirit in it?


The Twelve Spies

22“Then all of you approached me and said, ‘Let us send men before us, that they may search out the land for us, and bring back to us word of the way by which we should go up and the cities which we shall enter.’ 23The thing pleased me and I took twelve of your men, one man for each tribe. 24They turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the valley of Eshcol and spied it out. 25Then they took [some] of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us; and they brought us back a report and said, ‘It is a good land which the LORD our God is about to give us.’

Despite all the promises of God, the people want spies to be sent out first. The core of this request is distrust of God and His Word. What will the spies be able to tell beyond what God has already said?

In Numbers it says that God commands spies to be sent out (Num 13:1-21Then the LORD spoke to Moses saying,2“Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of their fathers’ tribes, every one a leader among them.”), while here we learn that the people wanted it. Their question came from a lack of trust in God. When God sees that their will is fixed in this, He gives what they ask for. It is like the question the people later ask to have a king. In so doing they reject God. Yet God gives them a king because He wants to teach them a lesson.

Moses agreed to the request. The spies travelled through the land and returned with the evidence of the land’s wealth. The mention of “the valley of Eshcol” reminds us of the enormous bunch of grapes they have brought from the land (Num 13:23-2423Then they came to the valley of Eshcol and from there cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes; and they carried it on a pole between two [men], with some of the pomegranates and the figs.24That place was called the valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the sons of Israel cut down from there.). They have also recognized that the land God gives is “a good land”, an expression that appears ten times in this book.


Refusal to Go up

26“Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God; 27and you grumbled in your tents and said, ‘Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us. 28Where can we go up? Our brethren have made our hearts melt, saying, “The people are bigger and taller than we; the cities are large and fortified to heaven. And besides, we saw the sons of the Anakim there.”‘

Moses reminds the people of the insurmountable problems they saw in taking possession of the land. In so doing they rejected God. They even talked about God hating them (verse 2727and you grumbled in your tents and said, ‘Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us.).


God’s Faithfulness and the People’s Unbelief

29Then I said to you, ‘Do not be shocked, nor fear them. 30The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.’ 32But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God, 33who goes before you on [your] way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go.

Moses speaks to a generation that can hardly or not at all be aware of what happened forty years ago. Yet he speaks to them as if it about themselves: they were rebellious and did not want to go up, they grumbled in their tents. He can do this because he knows the germ of unbelief is also present in this generation. They are not better than their fathers. This new generation has also shown its unbelief and rebellion at the end of the journey (Num 21:55The people spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.”).

The believer is a new creation in Christ, but his old nature is incorrigibly evil. If he does not keep it at the place of death (Rom 6:1111Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.), even the believer will be able to come to the worst sins.

We can blame God for not providing sufficient resources to occupy ourselves with the blessings. But the real question is whether we appreciate the blessings. If we do that, we will have the resources and the time for it. Generations in previous centuries have had to work much harder and longer than we do today. Yet they knew the Scriptures through and through. How is that possible? They appreciated the blessings, while we let ourselves be wrapped up in earthly things. In Christ are “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:33in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.). As we engage with Him, we will increasingly enjoy all that has been given to us in Him. A longing heart will learn from the truth that is in Jesus (Eph 4:2121if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,).

In verse 3131and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.’ we see how God has led His people through that ‘great and terrible wilderness’. What Moses was not able to do (Num 11:1414I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me.), God did: He carried them like a man carries his child. In his speech in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch, Paul points out how God has cared for His people with the tenderness of a nurse: “For a period of about forty years He put up with them in the wilderness” (Acts 13:1818For a period of about forty years He put up with them in the wilderness.; cf. Isa 66:1313“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;
And you will be comforted in Jerusalem.”
; Psa 103:1313Just as a father has compassion on [his] children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
). This is His answer to their accusation that He hates them, an answer that should bring them to shame.

The people have sent out spies before them. Moses recalls that the LORD Himself had gone out before them every time as a spy to find a suitable place for them to camp there (verse 3333who goes before you on [your] way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go.). It is better for them to rely on Him than to determine their way as a result of human perceptions.


The Anger of the LORD

34“Then the LORD heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying, 35‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers, 36except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed the LORD fully.’ 37The LORD was angry with me also on your account, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter there. 38Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it. 39Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it.

The reaction of the LORD is in line with the rebellion of the people. Do they refuse to enter the land? The LORD swears in his wrath that no one of that generation will come there. Of the two exceptions, Joshua and Caleb, only Caleb is mentioned here. Joshua occupies a special place. He will follow Moses as the leader of the people. In Caleb we have an ‘ordinary’ Israelite, someone to whom we can mirror ourselves.

His heart is full of the love of God. His name means ‘wholeheartedly’. He has not spoken of a God Who hates. He was convinced of the love and goodness of God to introduce His people into the land of promise. In Joshua 14 he refers to his account of the land (Jos 14:77I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as [it was] in my heart.). He then is still full of it. He knew the pleasure of the LORD and appreciated the inheritance of God. He has taken it in possession, while the others have perished in the wilderness.

God’s love was active in his life. He had to go with the people through the wilderness, but in his heart that love worked, by which he persisted in following the LORD with an eye on the goal. Do we belong to the generation of Caleb? That is so when our heart is directed toward Christ, just as the heart of Caleb was directed toward the blessing of the land, for the blessing of the land is for us Christ. If our hearts are full of the goodness and love of God through the Holy Spirit, our desire will also be to follow the Lord completely.

The Holy Spirit is also called ‘pledge’ (Eph 1:1414who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of [God’s own] possession, to the praise of His glory.). That He is the pledge means that we do not yet possess the inheritance. A pledge is a kind of guarantee that in the future we will receive what we do not yet have. The fact that the Holy Spirit is called ‘pledge’ only has to do with the certainty that the rest will follow. Because He has been given to us, we can already enjoy the inheritance, although we cannot yet actually take possession of it.

The anger of the LORD also came upon Moses for their sake. This is reminiscent of the Lord Jesus who underwent the anger of God for the sake of His people. Moses does not speak here about his own failure, but about the cause of the anger. It was with the people. This did not happen when the people first reached the border, but only forty years later. Moses is not concerned with chronology, but he connects God’s anger over himself with God’s anger over the people in order to underline the holiness of God’s judgment.

Moses points to Joshua as the new leader. Joshua was in his service. Here we see the picture of the Lord Jesus who sent the Holy Spirit, that He may lead us into all the truth (Jn 16:1313But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.). The Holy Spirit does not lead the old man, but the new man, just as Joshua does not bring the old generation, but the new generation into the land.

The new generation is referred to here as “your little ones …, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil”. It are those who will never reach the land by their own power, who depend on the help of others and who are ignorant. They are not informed about the land, but they want to be taught about it and about the conditions for getting there and living in it.

So it is with the things God makes known: He does so to little children, not to those who trust their minds (Mt 11:25-2725At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from [the] wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.26Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.27All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal [Him].). The mind of a child is necessary to enjoy the blessings for us in the heavenly places of Christ.


The Presumption of the People

40But as for you, turn around and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.’ 41“Then you said to me, ‘We have sinned against the LORD; we will indeed go up and fight, just as the LORD our God commanded us.’ And every man of you girded on his weapons of war, and regarded it as easy to go up into the hill country. 42And the LORD said to me, ‘Say to them, “Do not go up nor fight, for I am not among you; otherwise you will be defeated before your enemies.”‘ 43So I spoke to you, but you would not listen. Instead you rebelled against the command of the LORD, and acted presumptuously and went up into the hill country.

The old generation is commanded to turn around and set out for the wilderness, in the direction of the Red Sea. For man there is only one possibility to participate in God’s blessings: to go to the place that speaks of salvation from the power of Egypt, that is the cross. There the old man is judged (Rom 6:66knowing this, that our old self was crucified with [Him], in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;).

In stubborn rebellion, the old generation again went against what God has said. The flesh “does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able [to do so]” (Rom 8:77because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able [to do so],). If the confession “we have sinned” sounds from their mouths, it is only a formula with no real meaning. Thus it is more found in the Bible, for example with Pharaoh, Saul, and Jude (Exo 9:2727Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “I have sinned this time; the LORD is the righteous one, and I and my people are the wicked ones.; 10:1616Then Pharaoh hurriedly called for Moses and Aaron, and he said, “I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you.; 1Sam 15:2424Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice.; Mt 27:3-43Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,4saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See [to that] yourself!”). When they call to the LORD in this mind, He does not listen (Jam 4:33You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend [it] on your pleasures.).


The People Crushingly Defeated

44The Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do, and crushed you from Seir to Hormah. 45Then you returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD did not listen to your voice nor give ear to you. 46So you remained in Kadesh many days, the days that you spent [there].

The inheritance is despised by the people, the confession is not sincere, the inheritance is taken away from them. They also despised God’s government, for they acted against His command not to go up. God then gave them up in the hand of the enemy. These are pictures of satanic powers (Eph 6:1212For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].). They have been crushed by them. As a result, they had to spend thirty-eight years in the wilderness.


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