Today’s Reading: Num. 12 – 14
In the past, I find it so much more painful when my closest friend or family opposes me. I recall that my only uncle told me that I would not make much of myself because I was so bad with physics (he is the top 40 physicists in the world, for your information), even though I was the first lawyer in my entire family. Although I hope you’ve never had such experience, I bet you do and so did Moses in today’s message when Miriam and Aaron opposes Moses’ leadership. How sad…. But, God did not tolerate it, did he?
Then, people do it again! “If only we had died in Egypt!” – the same complaint! I love how Moses intercede again for the Israelites – “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” After all those complaints against Moses, he stills pleaded for them to God. But, I note that he understands that God is just as well – he expects for punishment, but he pleaded with God to save them from certain death.
God hears Moses and forgives them, but he punishes them as well: “In this desert your bodies will fall – every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun”. God made them roam around the desert for 40 years for the sin they committed — or he perhaps waited for people who remember Egypt die first to get rid of “If only we had died in Egypt” complaint!
Why Caleb and Joshua? Because they were courageous for God – “If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
Are you rebelling against God by not doing what you suppose to do today? Are you courageous in the name of God? Are you Caleb and Joshua or are you among the Israelites buried in desert? Is the Lord with you today?