Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Year: Dt 1-3 for Feb 20

Deuteronomy 1-3 should be famous for providing a big sky view of the Israelites just prior to the conquest of Canaan.

It has all the immediacy of a participant. Moses is speaking in the first person (cf. Dt 1:9,19,22), supplying details of the history that we knew something about, but not as much. For example, we knew that God had told Moses to send spies out (Nm 13:1). We didn't know that the people came up with the idea until now (Dt 1:22-23).

As another example, we knew that one of the spies, Caleb, reported that the Israelites could certainly take the land (Nm 13:30). We did not know that Moses told the Israelites that God was going to fight on their behalf just like in Egypt (Dt 1:30). There's a big difference between someone, even God, telling you, that you can do it, and God actually fighting on your behalf -- like in Egypt! Therefore the generation that heard that, yet responded as they did, in Nm 14:1-4, were not just lacking self-confidence, but "did not trust the Lord" (Dt 1:32).

This event became one of the huge counter-examples of the rest of the Bible: a pardoned people (Nm 14:20), whom God was with (Dt 2:7), who "did not lack a thing" (2:7), yet except for Joshua and Caleb, were "an evil generation," (1:35), whose actions precipitated even Moses implicating them about his own sin (1:37; 3:26): "The Lord was angry with me also on your account, saying 'not even you shall enter there.'" regarding the promised land.

No comments:


Blog Archive