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Day 63 – Israel’s Rebellion

Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read that the Israelites still long for their previous lives as slaves. They go as far as to elect captains to bring them back to Egypt and face whatever consequences are before them there then to enter the land God promised them because it may be difficult to conquer.

This angers the Lord and he does not allow that generation of Israelites to enter, but rather their children will have to fight to take possession of the land. This is a lesson for us all. If we are unwilling to fight against the things that enslave us (fears, bad habits, addictions) then our children and their children will have to fight those battles.

Lastly in Deuteronomy today God commands the Israelites to destroy all pagan shrines and prepare to worship in the Temple. Similarly, we need to worship God in the way he commands.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Numbers 14

1 The whole community then cried out in dismay, and the people wept all that night.

2 All the Israelites muttered at Moses and Aaron, and the whole community said to them, ‘Would to God we had died in Egypt, or even that we had died in this desert!

3 Why has Yahweh brought us to this country, for us to perish by the sword and our wives and children to be seized as booty? Should we not do better to go back to Egypt?’

4 And they said to one another, ‘Let us appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.’

5 At this, Moses and Aaron threw themselves on their faces in front of the whole assembled community of Israelites,

6 while Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, two of the men who had reconnoitred the country, tore their clothes

7 and addressed the whole community of Israelites as follows, ‘The country we went to reconnoitre is a good country, an excellent country.

8 If Yahweh is pleased with us, he will lead us into this country and give it to us. It is a country flowing with milk and honey.

9 But do not rebel against Yahweh or be afraid of the people of the country, for we shall gobble them up. Their protecting shade has deserted them, while we have Yahweh on our side. Do not be afraid of them.’

10 The whole community was talking of stoning them, when the glory of Yahweh appeared to all the Israelites, inside the Tent of Meeting,

11 and Yahweh said to Moses: ‘How much longer will these people treat me with contempt? How much longer will they refuse to trust me, in spite of all the signs I have displayed among them?

12 I shall strike them with pestilence and disown them. And of you I shall make a new nation, greater and mightier than they are.’

13 Moses said to Yahweh: ‘Suppose the Egyptians hear about this — for by your power you brought these people out of their country-

14 and tell the people living in this country. They have heard that you, Yahweh, are with this people, and that you, Yahweh, show yourself to them face to face; that your cloud stands over them and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

15 If you kill this people now as though it were one man, then the nations who have heard about you will say,

16 “Yahweh was not able to bring this people into the country which he had sworn to give them, and so he has slaughtered them in the desert.”

17 No, my Lord! Now is the time to assert your power as you promised when you said, earlier,

18 “Yahweh, slow to anger and rich in faithful love, forgiving faults and transgression, and yet letting nothing go unchecked, punishing the parents’ guilt in the children to the third and fourth generation.”

19 In your most faithful love, please forgive this people’s guilt, as you have done from Egypt until now.’

20 Yahweh said, ‘I forgive them as you ask.

21 But — as I live, and as the glory of Yahweh fills the whole world-

22 of all these people who have seen my glory and the signs that I worked in Egypt and in the desert, who have put me to the test ten times already and not obeyed my voice,

23 not one shall see the country which I promised to give their ancestors. Not one of those who have treated me contemptuously will see it.

24 However, since my servant Caleb is of another spirit and since he has obeyed me completely, I shall bring him into the country where he has been, and his descendants will own it

25 (the Amalekites and Canaanites occupy the plain). Tomorrow you will turn about and go back into the desert, in the direction of the Sea of Suph.’

26 Yahweh then spoke to Moses and Aaron and said:

27 ‘How much longer am I to endure this perverse community muttering against me? I have heard what the Israelites mutter against me.

28 Say to them, “As I live, Yahweh declares, I shall do to you what I have heard you saying.

29 In this desert your dead bodies will fall, all you who were counted in the census, from the age of twenty years and over who have muttered against me.

30 I swear none of you will enter the country where I swore most solemnly to settle you, except Caleb son of Jephunneh, and Joshua son of Nun.

31 Your children, who you said would be seized as booty, will be the ones whom I shall bring in so that they get to know the country you disdained,

32 but, as for you, your dead bodies will fall in this desert

33 and your children will be nomads in the desert for forty years, bearing the consequences of your faithlessness, until the last one of you lies dead in the desert.

34 For forty days you reconnoitred the country. Each day will count as a year: for forty years you will bear the consequences of your guilt and learn what it means to reject me.”

35 I, Yahweh, have spoken: this is how I swear to treat this entire perverse community united against me. In this desert, to the last man, they shall die.’

36 The men whom Moses had sent to reconnoitre the country and who on their return had incited the whole community of Israel to mutter about him by disparaging it,

37 these men who had disparaged the country were all struck dead before Yahweh.

38 Of the men who had gone to reconnoitre the country, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh were left alive.

39 When Moses told all the Israelites what had been said, the people set up a great outcry.

40 Early next morning they set out for the heights of the hill country saying, ‘Look, we will set out for the place about which Yahweh said that we have sinned.’

41 To which, Moses said, ‘Why disobey Yahweh’s order? No success will come of doing so.

42 Do not go, for Yahweh is not among you, and you will be defeated by your enemies.

43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are ahead of you, and you will be put to the sword, since you have turned away from Yahweh, and Yahweh is not with you.’

44 All the same, they presumptuously set off for the heights of the hill country. Neither the ark of the covenant of Yahweh nor Moses left the camp.

45 The Amalekites and Canaanites living in those highlands then came down, defeated them and harried them all the way to Hormah.

Deuteronomy 12

1 ‘Now, these are the laws and customs which you must keep in the country which Yahweh, God of your ancestors, is giving you as yours, and which you must observe every day that you live in that country.

2 ‘You must completely destroy all the places where the nations you dispossess have served their gods, on high mountains, on hills, under any spreading tree;

3 you must tear down their altars, smash their sacred stones, burn their sacred poles, hack to bits the statues of their gods and obliterate their name from that place.

4 ‘Not so must you behave towards Yahweh your God.

5 You must seek Yahweh your God in the place which he will choose from all your tribes, there to set his name and give it a home: that is where you must go.

6 That is where you must bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and offerings held high, your votive offerings and your voluntary offerings, and the first-born of your herd and flock;

7 and that is where you must eat in the presence of Yahweh your God, rejoicing over your labours, you and your households, because Yahweh your God has blessed you.

8 ‘You must not behave as we are behaving here today, each of you doing what he himself sees fit,

9 since you have not yet come to the resting place and the heritage that Yahweh your God is going to give you.

10 You are about to cross the Jordan and live in the country given you by Yahweh your God as your heritage; he will grant you peace from all the enemies surrounding you, and you will live in safety.

11 To the place chosen by Yahweh your God as a home for his name, to that place you must bring all the things that I am laying down for you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and offerings held high, and all the best of your possessions dedicated by you to Yahweh.

12 That is where you will rejoice in the presence of Yahweh your God, you and your sons and daughters, your serving men and women, and the Levite living in your community since he has no share or heritage of his own among you.

13 ‘Take care you do not offer your burnt offerings in all the sacred places you see;

14 only in the place that Yahweh chooses in one of your tribes may you offer your burnt offerings and do all the things which I have commanded you.

15 ‘This notwithstanding, and whenever you wish, you may slaughter and eat meat wherever you live — as much as the blessing of Yahweh affords you. Clean or unclean may eat it, as though it were gazelle or deer.

16 You will not, however, eat the blood, but will pour that like water on the ground.

17 ‘You must not eat the tithe of your wheat, of your new wine or of your oil, or the first-born of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings or voluntary offerings, or your offerings held high to Yahweh, at home.

18 You must eat these in the presence of Yahweh your God in the place Yahweh your God chooses and there alone, you, your son and your daughter, your serving man and serving woman, and the Levite living in your community, expressing your joy in all your labours in the presence of Yahweh your God.

19 As long as you live on your soil, be careful not to neglect the Levite.

20 ‘When Yahweh your God enlarges your territory as he has promised you, and you say, “I should like to eat meat,” if you want to eat meat you may eat as much as you like.

21 If the place in which Yahweh your God chooses to set his name is too far away, you may slaughter any of your herd or flock that Yahweh has given you, as I have prescribed for you; you may eat as much of it as you please at home.

22 But you must eat it as you would gazelle or deer; clean and unclean may eat it together.

23 Take care, however, not to eat the blood, since blood is life, and you must not eat the life with the meat.

24 You must not eat it, but must pour it like water on the ground.

25 You must not eat it — so that you, and your children after you, may prosper, doing what is right in Yahweh’s eyes.

26 But the holy things of yours and the things which you have dedicated, you must go and take to the place chosen by Yahweh.

27 The burnt offerings of meat and blood must be presented on the altar of Yahweh your God; whereas, in your sacrifices, the blood must be poured on the altar of Yahweh your God; the meat you yourselves may eat.

28 Faithfully keep and obey all these orders which I am giving you, so that you and your children after you may prosper for ever, doing what is good and right in the eyes of Yahweh your God.

29 ‘When Yahweh your God has annihilated the nations confronting you, whom you are going to dispossess, and when you have dispossessed them and made your home in their country,

30 beware of being entrapped into copying them, after they have been destroyed to make way for you, and do not enquire about their gods, saying, “How did these nations worship their gods? I am going to do the same too.”

31 This is not the way to treat Yahweh your God. For in honour of their gods they have done everything detestable that Yahweh hates; yes, in honour of their gods, they even burn their own sons and daughters as sacrifices!’

Psalm 95

1 Come, let us cry out with joy to Yahweh, acclaim the rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving, acclaim him with music.

3 For Yahweh is a great God, a king greater than all the gods.

4 In his power are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are his;

5 the sea belongs to him, for he made it, and the dry land, moulded by his hands.

6 Come, let us bow low and do reverence; kneel before Yahweh who made us!

7 For he is our God, and we the people of his sheepfold, the flock of his hand. If only you would listen to him today!

8 Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah, as at the time of Massah in the desert,

9 when your ancestors challenged me, put me to the test, and saw what I could do!

10 For forty years that generation sickened me, and I said, ‘Always fickle hearts; they cannot grasp my ways.’

11 Then in my anger I swore they would never enter my place of rest.


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