About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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chapter 2

ch. 2:1-25    ch. 2:26-27

Wanderings In The Desert (ch. 2:1 - 25)


In the first 6 verses we see Moses recalling the movement of Israel through the desert.  One thing we should note is found in verses 5 and 6.  They were going to pass through the land God had given to Esau's descendents.   You should remember that Esau was Isaac's oldest son who despised his inheritance.  He thus lost his inheritance and his birthright to be the head of the family.  Jacob, who was later named Israel by God,  received both the inheritance and the birthright.  God did not leave Esau without any inheritance.  He did give them a parcel of land, which we see here. Israel was not to take that from them. 


In verse 7 Moses states that the Lord God had watched over Israel during the 40 years in the desert.  This is interesting.  The trip should have only taken 11 days across the desert as we learned in Deuteronomy 1:2.  Instead it took them 40 years, and that was a result of God's judgment on Israel.  Even though Israel was an exile in the desert, and half the time they spent in rebellion against God, Moses still says that God watched over Israel .  This is important.  God always watches over Israel, even though they don't watch out for Him, and that is true to this very day.


In verse 14 we see the words "38 years".  It actually took 38 years of wandering in the desert to get to where they were.  The last 2 years of the 40 years, was spent on the border of the promised land.  It was at the 38 year point that the last person died from the generation that complained in the desert.  God said that no one from that generation would enter the promised land, and so they could not enter until that last person died.  That was at the 38 year point.


In verses 16 and 17 we see that God is exact.  He said that Israel would not enter the promised land until that last complainer died.  As soon as he died, God told Moses to prepare to enter the land. I strongly believe that God has a time table of events.  What happens, happens right on time, not a minute early, and not a minute late. 


All the way through this chapter we see God telling Israel to avoid certain land because he has given these lands to others.  We see that God has an agenda for Israel, but not just for them, but for all the nations of the world.  That is clearly seen here.


In verse 27 we note that God tells Israel to go and take possession of the land, and He will put fear and dread in the hearts and minds of all nations.  This is what can happen to Israel when they are walking with their God and obeying Him.  I suggest the same could happen today if Israel would obey their God with all their hearts.


You see God fighting with and for Israel.  Many Christians and non-Christians alike don't understand why God, a loving and holy God, involves Himself in war.  The answer is simple.  God chose Israel to be  His special nation and put them in the midst of pagan nations.  By so doing, God put Himself in the middle of conflict.  He also promised Abraham that He would help protect Israel in the midst of this conflict.  Nothing else could be done.  War could not be avoided.  


Defeat Of Sihon, King Of Heshbon (ch. 2:26 - 37)         


I will not comment on every verse in this section.  I've done that when we discussed these events Moses speaks of here in the book of Numbers. 


Verse 30 is interesting.  We learn something here that we did not see when the event happened.  Sihon was king of Heshbon, and Israel had to pass through his land to get to the promised land.  Moses asked him nicely if Israel could pass through his land without taking anything from the land.  Sihon refuses, but here we see why.  God made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate.  You will remember that God made Pharaoh's heart hard, although Pharaoh's heart was hard even before God made it harder.  The point is simple.  God, if He so chooses, can and will, step into the affairs of man and cause national leaders to have obstinate hearts, against His own people as a form of judgment against them.  It is clear to me that God intervenes behind the scenes when it comes to national affairs.   The world cannot see this, but those who have Biblical understanding can.

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