Tag Archives: Mount Sinai

Time to sit still or to pass on

The first week of the Summer holiday is already nearly gone. It goes so fast, perhaps before we know the three weeks shall be over and the roads in Flanders shall again pile up with pepole going to do their daily business, their worldly duties.

You would think they could have now some more time to take rest but also to spend more time reading in the Set Apart Scriptures.
These weeks people love it to find their work-life coming to a stand still. I wonder if they would remember how perhaps a whole world was like coming to a complete silent standstill. In the words of the Midrash about the Matan Torah:

When God revealed Torah at Mount Sinai, no bird sang, no cow mooed, no bad of grass rustled in the wind. (Shemot Rabbah29:9)

God giving the Torah on Mount Sinai

What God had to say was so important everything was like coming to a standstill. (Figuratively.)

There at Mount Sinai the Torah was given to the Am kadosh God’s People. though in fact it was not only for the Hebrews, but to all the nations of the world that God provided His Word. All should have to come to hear His Voice. God’s People should know the importance of it for them but also for the others around them. Though for those who call themselves People of God it can be a Hard Word.

God lifts Mount Sinai and holds it over the heads of the assembled Children of Israel.  Then God says,

either you accept and pledge to observe my Torah or I shall drop the mountain on top of you. (B. Shabbat 88A and B. Avodah Zarah 2B)

Would we like the world falling on our head? Are we getting God’s messages He gives throughout the many ages? Not many do!
It is all about bringing the Message of God further into the world. We may not forget the purpose of our people, to be teachers and examples of the ideals of Torah to the world. Indeed by adherence to these ideals we become in the words of the Prophet Isaiah;

“A light to the nations’ (Isaiah 49:6)

a worthy example for all. If we are not willing to accept the responsibility of adhering to the Torah’s ideals, there is no good reason for us to continue to exist.

Israel’s willingness to accept Torah was so important to God that the Almighty threatened to break the promise made after the flood never to destroy the world again unless Israel agrees to embrace the Torah and its ideals (B. Shabbat 88A).

So we should not fear to find the world coming to an end that way, but we may not forget that the Elohim warned us also for a terrible war going to come. Our eyes should be directed to those incredible difficult times, when there would be more natural disasters, children getting cross with their parents, people having no respect any more for each other nor keeping to ethic values, religion fighting against religion, nations against nations. It all shall end by a disastrous World War.

But before that time shall be so near that it would be to late to warn others, the people of God should spread the Good News and warn people to be ready.

We should show others how we as People of God want to be an example and demonstrate to God that we are worthy to receive His Torah.

When God asks us to offer guarantors of our worthiness, we offer the deeds of our patriarchs and our prophets but God finds neither of these acceptable.  Only when we pledge the loyalty of our children to God’s teachings does God reveal the Torah to our people. (Shir Ha ShirimRabbah, Chapter 1, Section 4, Midrash 1)

When we are free from daily work, having our Summer-holiday we should take time to tell others about that Word of God which might bring light and life for so many. Living in the hope (tikvah) that one day more people shall come to see and understand the Voice of God and be willing to go with us to the corners of the world.

“Thus says ADONAI-Tzva’ot, “In those days it will come to pass that ten men from every language of the nations will grasp the corner of the garment of a Jew saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’ ””
(Zechariah 8:23 TLV)

 

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Preceding articles

An uncovering book to explore

2016 Summer holiday

Holiday time reading time

Allow yourself a chill-out day

Shabbat Mevarchim opening to the Summer-holiday period

Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

Witnesses of Christ and of his gospel

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Additional articles to read

  1. Why think that (4) … God would reveal himself in words
  2. Why think that (5) … the Bible is the word of God
  3. How to Read the Bible (sequel 6) an after thought
  4. Bible Reading: is it worthwhile?
  5. God’s forgotten Word 2 Lost Lawbook 1 Who has still interest
  6. Today’s thought “Let’s be examples of disciples who spread the word about their Master” (May 17)
  7. Daily thought for July the 8th and the Summer months
  8. I can’t believe that … (4) God’s word would be so violent
  9. ….a powerful way to put the universe on notice….
  10. Making time for prayer in Summerholiday
  11. Holiday tolerance
  12. Will There Ever be Peace on Earth?

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Further related

  1. Leisure: Family friendly activities not to miss this summer
  2. Summer reality and summer dreams
  3. Podcasts for Summer
  4. Our Summer Trip: My Top 10 Favourite Things
  5. Mallorca – My Summer Holiday Highlights!
  6. Which books to read this summer: 5 tips!
  7. Moshe, Dovid, and What the Other Nations Rejected
  8. Yitro – The question of freedom of choice
  9. Shavuot: Now That’s The Spirit! 5779
  10. Rav Avigdor Miller on The Avos and Matan Torah
  11. Rav Avigdor Miller on The Nations Reject the Torah
  12. Rav Avigdor Miller on The Nations Reject the Torah
  13. Shavuot – The meaning of Har Sina
  14. Preparing to Accept The Torah: Part One
  15. Too busy?
  16. Being an Example; November 27, 2018
  17. A Living Example
  18. Pelted for the Gospel
  19. Who Follows You?

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Looking at the time when the Torah was given

Ruth in Boaz's Field

Ruth in Boaz’s Field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At nightfall tonight, we spend the entire first night of Shavuot studying Torah.
The traditional Tikkun Leil Shavout (“Rectification for Shavuot Night”) study program includes the opening and closing verses of each book of the Written Torah (Tanach), as well as of each Parshah; the entire Book of Ruth; the opening and closing sections of each tractate of the Talmud; a list of the 613 mitzvot; and selected readings from the Zohar and other Kabbalistic works.

On this day, Moses made a covenant with the Jewish people at the foot of Mount Sinai at which the people declared,

“All that God has spoken, we shall do and hear” (Exodus 24:7)

committing themselves to observe the Torah’s commandments (“do”) and strive to comprehend them (“hear”), while pledging to “do” also before they “hear.”

Remembering that on the 6th Sivan of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), seven weeks after the Exodus, mankind was blessed by the Elohim revealing Himself on Mount Sinai and wanting to give the Words of Guidance.

Taken the day of Erev Shavuot of 2008 at Valle...

Taken the day of Erev Shavuot of 2008 at Valley Beth Shalom’s main sanctuary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The entire people of Israel (600,000 heads of households and their families), as well as the souls of all future generations of Jews, heard God declare the first two of the Ten Commandments and witnessed God’s communication of the other eight through Moses. Following the revelation, Moses ascended the mountain for 40 days, to receive the remainder of the Torah from God.

The Torah itself does not explicitly mention the connection of this day with the the giving of the Torah on Sinai (Matan Torah). It merely says,

“You shall count fifty days (from the second day of Pesach)… and you shall proclaim on that selfsame day: It shall be a holy convocation unto you.”

Now although we know that the Torah was given on the 6th of Sivan, during the time when the calendar was fixed by eyewitnesses to the new moon, the fiftieth day — Shavuot — could fall on the 5th, 6th, or 7th of Sivan. Therefore I would love to mention this today and call to you for remembering the set apart moment of the elohim coming closer to His People, giving them something precious to hold on, so that they could be sure to please their Most High Maker.

Nonetheless, now that the calendar is no longer variable, Shavuot always coincides with the 6th. And there is also a Biblical allusion to the significance of Shavuot in the fact that unlike the other festivals, the word “sin” is not mentioned in connection with the special sacrifices for Shavuot, and this is related to the Israelites’ acceptance of the Torah, which gave them the special merit of being forgiven their sins.

Within the diversity of the world we as lovers of God do have to come in unity with the divine Maker. When we look at the world around us, there are enough things which reveal the Master Hand of the Divine Creator. This should give us confidence that the Most High is always active, omnipresent and that it is on Him we should rely.

In the month of Nisan we remembered how God’s People “fled” from Egypt, both literally and metaphorically — fled from the knowledge of the world and were filled only with the revelation from above. Their unity was of the world-denying kind. The elohim for them was One because they knew only one thing, because the world had ceased to have being in their eyes.

Iyar, the second month, is the month wholly taken up with the Counting of the Omer, and preparing ourselves for the coming events at Sinai. The divine Creator wants each of us to be aware of ourselves and likes to see that we can have our world as something apart from God which has to be suppressed.

Now in the third month, Sivan, we look up at the time when the Torah was given, when God and the world became one thing.

This was the moment of genuine unity, when what had seemed two things became a third, including and going beyond both. {Jewish saying}

We must look at ourselves and recognise that we are still far off from being really totally “one with God”. We are not yet at one with the Eternal Most High Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Many still even do not dare to come close to Him pronouncing His titles or to enunciate His Divine Name.

We should be aware that first of all there has to be a willingness to come close to God. The best way to do that is by studying the Word God Himself has delivered to mankind. Today nobody really has an excuse that he or she would not have been able to hear God’s Word. Nearly everywhere in the world the Word of God is available in oral form, printed form with Bible translations in lots of languages so that people always could find one or an other language they can read and understand.

The ultimate unity with the Most High comes only through (learning) Torah, when the mind of man and the will of God interfuse.

Tomorrow I’ll look at two other events which occurred on Shavuot

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Preceding articles

Elul Observances

9 Adar and bickering or loving followers of the Torah preparing for Pesach

Next

To turn the world into a “vessel” receptive of God

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Additional reading

  1. Why Sabbaths or Sabbath plural “shabbatot”
  2. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  3. Tongues a sign of authenticity or divine backing

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Filed under Religious affairs

Adar 6, Matan Torah remembering the giving of Torah

In the people of God their year 2448 (1313 BCE), on the 6th (or 7th) day of the third month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar, Sivan, after Moshe was called up at the mountain of Sinai, God told his chosen one what to tell to the people. With the Shemoth or  Exodus from Egypt only three months in the past, the Jews arrive at Mount Sinai to hear a terrible noise and to see flashing lights. They saw a mountain which was been touched and burned with fire and to blackness and to darkness and to tempest.

“Now all of the people were seeing the thunder-sounds, the flashing-torches, the shofar sound, and the mountain smoking; when the people saw, they faltered and stood far off.”
(Exodus 20:15 SB)

“The people stood far off, and Moshe approached the fog where God was.”
(Exodus 20:18 SB)

Moshe having entered into the thick ‘darkness’ of the clouds, came to hear the Voice of God, the Most High Divine Creator. God spoke to Moshe

“… Say thus to the Children of Israel: You yourselves have seen that it was from the heavens that I spoke with you.”
(Exodus 20:19 SB)

V11p133004 Torah

V11p133004 Torah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There God gave to the Children of Israel what is by most Christians known as the “Ten commandments” but would be better referred to as the (literal translation) ““The Ten Sayings” or Decalogue. These Sayings including more than ten actual mitzvahs. Later Jeshua would tell that he has come not to take that Law away, like so many christians think, but to explain it and to fulfil it.

“Do not suppose that I came to tear-down the law or the prophets; I did not come to tear-down, but to fulfil.”
(Matthew 5:17 MLV)

“But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one serif of the law to fall short.”
(Luke 16:17 MLV)

“Now I am saying this: the law, which happened four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not invalidate a covenant* validated beforehand by God in reference to Christ so as to do-away-with the promise.”
(Galatians 3:17 MLV)

Many thousand years ago God found it time that what He wanted people would know very well what He expected from them. He wanted to make it clear to them what His expectations were.
He made it clear what He wanted man to keep to.

For those who doubt it, or use graven images in their worship places God made it clear He does not like such things.

“You are not to make beside me gods of silver, gods of gold you are not to make for yourselves!”
(Exodus 20:20 SB)

No body, who wants to be a child of God, may have more than One God before him or may become unequally yoked with unbelievers and take part in pagan rites and pagan festivals (like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, just to call a few).

It was on Sivan 2 that the Almighty God tells Moshe that He not only wants to give the Jews the Torah, but also wants to make them His chosen, set apart or holy nation, who will follow His commandments. The Jews wholeheartedly agree, replying,

“All God wishes we will do.”

On the third day of the month Moses relays the Jews’ answer to God and then returns to the Jews to tell them that he will be the messenger for the Ten Sayings; that what God told him up high on the mountain.

This weekend, Adar 6, 5777, we remember the giving of Torah and this transitional moment in our history — a moment known as Matan Torah (the Giving of the Torah). No longer were we merely the descendants of a great man named Abraham, or simply a Middle-Eastern people known as the Israelites. We had now become God’s people, chosen to learn His Torah and keep its laws. It’s a moment we celebrate every year on the festival of Shavuot, and this year will take place from May 30–June 1.

The Torah and Talmudic sources describe the delivery of the Ten Commandments as a unique experience — complete with thunder, lightning and a smoking mountaintop — and an event of historic significance. Yet the Talmudic account itself actually makes it quite difficult to understand what was so earth-shattering about

“the giving of the Torah.”

It was not that people did not yet know God’s Will. A significant body of legislation and moral lore was already in existence long before the historic event described as “the giving of the Torah.” Indeed, even without the Talmudic tradition it would seem that all of the Ten Commandments given at Sinai are either philosophical axioms (e.g., monotheism), moral imperatives and ideals (e.g., do not murder, do not steal, honour your father and mother, do not covet), or previously received mandates (e.g., the Sabbath). In other words, not the sort of material that would seem to warrant a divine revelation — and certainly not one of such grandeur.

But we should know that it was no simple handing over a book of lore …  God gave man the basic rules to live by, the Ten Commandments.

Please do understand, though the name of the event — the Giving of the Torah — implies that the entire Torah was given that day, this is not the case. In fact, only the Ten Commandments were taught to us that day, and even they were only transmitted verbally. The physical luchot—the tablets — were not given for another 40 days.

Nevertheless, the name remains, as it marks the day the Elohim began the process of giving us the Torah. In that light we should remember this weekend which great gift we were given so that it would be much easier for us to know how to keep in line with God’s desires.

First we were taught the Ten Commandments. Then, Moses stayed on Mount Sinai to learn from God, for 40 days. We too can take such 40 days to meditate and wonder about our relationship with the Most High. You can call it a time of reflection. Also Jeshua took such a time to think about what God wanted from him and his followers. He too had gone in the desert for 40 days to contemplate. Jeshua also took time to cogitate and was not afraid to deny the requests from others to denounce God or to test God. Also God’s people had to wait such a long time before they saw Moshe back. Though they proved not to be as strong as Moshe and Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who thought it most important to do the Will of God and not his own will. Though it is clearly impossible for Moshe to have learned ‘all 385 commandments’, he did learn the rules they are based on, and so it is considered as if he actually learned them. On stone tablets the basic 10 sayings cover most rules. The rest of the Torah was communicated in stages throughout the Jews’ 40-year sojourn in the desert.

In short we could say

The Ten Commandments

  1. Believe in Only One God.
  2. Do not believe in other deities.
  3. Do not take God’s name in vain.
  4. Keep Shabbat.
  5. Honour your parents.
  6. Don’t murder.
  7. Don’t commit adultery.
  8. Don’t kidnap.
  9. Don’t give false testimony.
  10. Don’t covet another’s possessions.
The Ten Commandments, In SVG

The Ten Commandments, In SVG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This our the basic rules for man to follow. The 4 first ones you could consider laws believers in God should follow, but the 5th until the 10th commandment form the basic rules for all people, who should take care to be able to live with each other in the best and most peaceful conditions. By obeying those given ethic laws for humanity man should be able to live in peace.

Although Matan Torah is known as the time when God gave us His Torah to study and keep, there were a few Israelites who had kept the entire Torah of their own volition before Matan Torah.

Now the moment had come that the Elohim Hashem Jehovah asked man to take the act of making a conscious choice or decision. It had become time man had to show for Whom he wanted to stand. From the beginning of times God had given man freedom to act or judge on one’s own. Now it is time for man to show that he has the ability or power to discern what is responsible or socially appropriate.

Man has to make the choice how he is going to behave in a community. He has to choose the position he is going to take opposite others and how he is going to treat them.

Before Matan Torah, those who observed Torah did so entirely of their own accord. It was their own choice and we can not tell in what way they wanted to do it. We can only guess how they saw it as a matter of having a good relationship with the Divine Creator.

Probably their connection to God, therefore, was only as deep as their understanding and feeling. Like today people who come into the faith cannot know yet all what they have to keep to and have to go on a path of learning to come to know what God really wants from them.

English: The Title page of Mishnah Torah by Mo...

The Title page of Mishnah Torah by Moshe ben Maimon haRambam, published in Venice in 1575 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For us tonight having Matan Torah in our mind, we look at the time the Elohim connected His Essence to the Torah and gave it to mankind and as such also to us. Each of us has the own responsibility now to decide to accept that given Torah or to deny it. Each of us should see how The Law of God is our safeguarding but also our inner set apart (holy) contact with the Most High. When we observe the Torah, therefore, we are connected to God’s essence, no matter who we are and how much we understand or feel. {Likutei Sichot, vol. 28, pp. 11-12.}

Fear may have seized those at the fields before the mountain of Sinai, but we should not be in fear, because “God has visited his people!” and given His instructions so that they could live according to the Wishes of God. We should know that in every place where God’s Name is recorded He will come to us and will bless us.

“Moshe said to the people: Do not be afraid! For it is to test you that God has come, to have awe of him be upon you, so that you do not sin.”
(Exodus 20:17 SB)

“A slaughter-site of soil, you are to make for me, you are to slaughter upon it your offerings-up, your sacrifices of shalom, your sheep and your oxen! At every place where I cause my name to be recalled I will come to you and bless you.”
(Exodus 20:21 SB)

“I will make a great nation of you and will give-you-blessing and will make your name great. Be a blessing!”
(Genesis 12:2 SB)

“So are they to put my name upon the Children of Israel, that I myself may bless them.”
(Numbers 6:27 SB)

Moshe wrote down the Words of God and that way even today we can read what God wants from His creatures.

“Now Moshe wrote down all the words of YHWH. He started-early in the morning, building a slaughter-site beneath the mountain and twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel.”
(Exodus 24:4 SB)

English: Moses repeated the commandments to th...

Moses repeated the commandments to the people, detail by a Carolingian book illuminator circa 840 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles

Our life depending on faith

God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace

Mishmash of a legal code but importance of mitzvah or commandments

Written by inspiration of God for our admonition, to whom it shall be imputed if they believe

Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion

29. Laws that Value People

Responsibilities of Parenthood for sharing the Word of God

Luther’s misunderstanding

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Additional reading

  1. Statutes given unto us
  2. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  3. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  4. God-breathed prophetic words written torah and the mitzvot to teach us
  5. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  6. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty GodJudeo-Christian values and liberty
  7. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #1
  8. Hello America and atheists
  9. 1,500 to 1,700 years old Chiselled tablet with commandments sold at auction

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Further reading

  1. Our Competition With God
  2. A Summary of Exodus
  3. February 6, 2017-The Beginning of Law’
  4. Intro to the Ten Commandments or The Ten Words
  5. Ten Commandments – Exodus 20:1-17
  6. Exodus 24:12-18 Moses was on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights
  7. The first commandment – Putting God first
  8. God verses our gods
  9. God’s nature revealed as Law
  10. The 10 Commandments
  11. The Ten Commandments
  12. The Ten Commandments and Prophesy
  13. Daily Prompt: Ten
  14. Do You Keep the Ten Commandments
  15. 10 Rules Worth Following
  16. Ten Commandments
  17. Do the Ten Commandments apply to Christians?
  18. The beginning
  19. Can the Old Covenant be abolished if the Ten Commandments are not?
  20. “The Catechism in Six Parts: The Ten Commandments”
  21. How Not to Learn from The Bible
  22. God the Father – “I did not create you so that you could do whatever you want…”
  23. Want What You’ve Got! (Lent)
  24. Christian Parenting, Ten Commandments, and Les Miserables
  25. It Depends
  26. Idolatry & The Shack
  27. Honor Your Parents
  28. What I’m Reading: Are You Normal?
  29. Simple Standard
  30. Rules of the Road
  31. Sabbath, Creation, Guarding and Observing
  32. Top Ten Secrets From The Foundation Of Our World
  33. Simply following the Ten Commandments isn’t enough
  34. Seven Fundamental Practices: Sabbath Rest
  35. Sermon: Who Do You Love?
  36. Love and the Meaninglessness of Scripture
  37. Lying
  38. Lust of the eyes
  39. Morality and neurochemical impulses
  40. Shorty*: What Ultimately Comforted Job?
  41. Jesus Christ – “Remember, you are not here to please man with your actions but God – God’s Laws never change”
  42. I’ll Do It My Way -the terrible harvest of moral relativism

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Filed under History, Juridical matters, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

On the Edge of Believing

14 Nisan coming closer we look at the people liberated from enslavement by the ancient Egyptians but also for the liberation of Jews and goims or gentiles.

Crossing of the red sea

Crossing of the red sea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The people of God got freedom after they had witnesses several plagues coming over Egypt. The land was on the verge of going in a disastrous killing situation.  You would think after having seen all the remarkable plagues, the wonder of crossing the Red Sea, they would fully trust the Most High Elohim  יהוה  {Jehovah}. they were guided and could find themselves camping beside Mount Sinai witnessing the earth quaking, the clouds, the fire and the voice from the mountain! After that, the miraculous provision of manna, quails, and water from the rock could still not bring many to go for the worshipping of the Only One True God and letting them still having doubts about so many matters. It fortuned, the first day of the eleventh month in the fortieth year, that Moses spoke unto the children of Israel according unto all that the Divine Creator had given him in commandment unto them. God telling them that they had dwelt long enough in this mount and therefore could depart and take their journey going unto the hills of the Amorites and unto all places nigh thereunto, both fields, hills and dales: and unto the south and unto the sea’s side in the land of Canaan, and unto Lebanon: even unto the great river Euphrates.

Deu 1:3-4 The Scriptures 1998+  (3)  And it came to be in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Mosheh spoke to the children of Yisra’ĕl according to all that יהוה  {Jehovah} had commanded him concerning them,  (4)  after he had smitten Siḥon sovereign of the Amorites, who dwelt in Ḥeshbon, and Oḡ   sovereign of Bashan, who dwelt at Ashtaroth in Eḏreʽi.

They had to know and to believe that God had set them the land before them and that no matter what would happen they should trust God going in to possess the land which Jehovah swore unto their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give unto them and their seed after them.

Deu 1:8 The Scriptures 1998+  (8)  ‘See, I have set the land before you. Go in and possess the land which יהוה  {Jehovah} swore to your fathers, to Aḇraham, to Yitsḥaq, and to Yaʽaqoḇ, to give to them and their seed after them.’

Instead of trust we see that the Israelites have so much fear that they doubt that the road would be safe for them.

English: "Destruction of the Army of the ...

“Destruction of the Army of the Amorites” by Gustave Doré. Jos 10:11 … the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones and than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deu 1:20-40 The Scriptures 1998+  (20)  “And I said to you, ‘You have come to the mountains of the Amorites, which יהוה  {Jehovah} our Elohim is giving us.  (21)  ‘See, יהוה  {Jehovah} your Elohim has set the land before you. Go up and possess it, as יהוה  {Jehovah} Elohim of your fathers has spoken to you. Do not fear, nor be discouraged.’  (22)  “And all of you came near to me and said, ‘Let us send men before us, and let them search out the land for us, and bring back word to us of the way by which we should go up, and of the cities into which we would come.’  (23)  “And the matter was good in my eyes, so I took twelve of your men, one man from each tribe.  (24)  “And they turned and went up into the mountains, and came to the wadi Eshkol, and spied it out.  (25)  “And they took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us. And they brought back word to us, saying, ‘The land which יהוה  {Jehovah} our Elohim is giving us is good.’  (26)  “But you would not go up and rebelled against the mouth of יהוה  {Jehovah} your Elohim,  (27)  and grumbled in your tents, and said, ‘Because יהוה  {Jehovah} was hating us, He has brought us out of the land of Mitsrayim to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.  (28)  ‘Where are we going to? Our brothers have made our hearts melt, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we, the cities are great and walled up to the heavens, and we saw the sons of the Anaqim there too.” ’  (29)  “Then I said to you, ‘Have no dread or fear of them.  (30)  ‘יהוה  {Jehovah} your Elohim, who is going before you, He does fight for you, according to all He did for you in Mitsrayim before your eyes,  (31)  and in the wilderness, where you saw how יהוה  {Jehovah} your Elohim has borne you, as a man bears his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.’  (32)  “Yet in this matter you are putting no trust in יהוה  {Jehovah} your Elohim,  (33)  who is going before you in the way to seek out a place for you to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go, in fire by night and in a cloud by day.  (34)  “And יהוה  {Jehovah} heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and took an oath, saying,  (35)  ‘Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers,  (36)  except Kalĕb son of Yephunneh. He shall see it, and to him and his children I give the land on which he walked, because he followed יהוה  {Jehovah} completely.’  (37)  “And יהוה  {Jehovah} was enraged with me for your sakes, saying, ‘You do not go in there, either.  (38)  ‘Yehoshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there. Strengthen him, for he shall cause Yisra’ĕl to inherit.  (39)  ‘And your little ones and your children, who you say are for a prey, who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they are going in there. And to them I give it, and they are to possess it.  (40)  ‘But you, turn and take your journey into the wilderness by the Way of the Sea of Reeds.’

We see that it were the Israelites who requested a look-see at what was ahead. God had made it possible for His people to go away from slavery and to go to a new land which they could call their own. Though now we see that their mind was not yet open enough for the mind of God and not trusting enough in the capabilities of the Most High Sovereign. Instead of believing God they once more doubted the possibilities laid in front of them. God had led them with a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire. He had gotten them through the Red Sea in a most spectacular way.  He had fed them with manna and quails and had provided them with water from a rock. Still they were not yet convinced of the Mighty Power of God. No wonder we can see how difficult it is for people today who cannot see those wonders of the Most High.

We do agree that it must not have been easy to walk day in day out for 40 years, but they knew it was their own fault. After all the walking and time enough for meditation you would think they would now have come to the faith and belief everything God promised them. Though still they were not all convinced and many let them be carried away by those who did not believe. The ones who continued to carry their fear, showing lack of trust and discontent, infected the others.

Fear had to be counter-balanced with trust and believing. God let them send spies, like they requested, and the results of their thinking and readiness was exposed.

Num 13:1-3 The Scriptures 1998+  (1)  And  יהוה  {Jehovah} spoke to Mosheh, saying,  (2)  “Send men to spy out the land of Kenaʽan, which I am giving to the children of Yisra’ĕl. Send one man from each tribe of their fathers, every one a leader among them.”  (3)  And by the command of  יהוה  {Jehovah} Mosheh sent them from the Wilderness of Paran, all of them men who were heads of the children of Yisra’ĕl.

Num 13:30-33 The Scriptures 1998+  (30)  And Kalĕb silenced the people before Mosheh, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are certainly able to overcome it.”  (31)  But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”  (32)  And they gave the children of Yisra’ĕl an evil report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land eating up its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size.  (33)  “And we saw there the Nephilim, sons of Anaq, of the Nephilim. And we were like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and so we were in their eyes.”

Again the Israelites thought the others were stronger than they and did not believe God would be helping them to conquer them. Afraid of those who looked like giants, the children of Anak which are of the giants. And they seemed in their sight as it were grasshoppers. Although 10 of the 12 spies sent to explore the land had come back, found and said the land was flowing with milk and honey they had such a negative frame of mind.

The encouragement of two of the 12 could not convince the group to go out because the fear of the other ten spies and their influence on the Israelites was bigger. Again the people of God found themselves on the edge of the abyss it seemed. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the people of Israel. Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel that the land, which they passed through to spy it out, was an exceedingly good land. But this could not help against the rebellion.
They kept fearing the people of the land who lost protection from them God being with the Israelites who as such had nothing to fear.

Num 14:10-38 The Scriptures 1998+  (10)  But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the esteem of יהוה  {Jehovah} appeared in the Tent of Meeting before all the children of Yisra’ĕl.  (11)  And יהוה  {Jehovah} said to Mosheh, “How long shall I be scorned by these people? And how long shall I not be trusted by them, with all the signs which I have done in their midst?  (12)  “Let Me smite them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”  (13)  And Mosheh said to יהוה  {Jehovah}, “Then the Mitsrites shall hear it, for by Your power You brought these people up from their midst,  (14)  and they shall say to the inhabitants of this land they have heard that You, יהוה  {Jehovah}, are in the midst of these people, that You, יהוה  {Jehovah}, are seen eye to eye and that Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a column of cloud by day and in a column of fire by night.  (15)  “Now if You shall kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your report shall speak, saying,  (16)  ‘Because יהוה  {Jehovah} was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’  (17)  “And now, I pray, let the power of יהוה  {Jehovah} be great, as You have spoken, saying,  (18)  ‘יהוה  {Jehovah} is patient and of great kindness, forgiving crookedness and transgression, but by no means leaving unpunished1; visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’ Footnote: 1This is confirmed in Ex. 34:7 and in Jer. 30:11.  (19)  “Please forgive the crookedness of this people, according to the greatness of Your kindness, as You have forgiven this people, from Mitsrayim even until now.”  (20)  And יהוה  {Jehovah} said, “I shall forgive, according to your word,  (21)  but truly, as I live and all the earth is filled with the esteem of יהוה  {Jehovah},  (22)  for none of these men who have seen My esteem and the signs which I did in Mitsrayim and in the wilderness, and have tried Me now these ten times, and have disobeyed My voice,  (23)  shall see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor any of those who scorned Me see it.  (24)  “But My servant Kalĕb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me completely, I shall bring into the land where he went, and his seed shall inherit it.  (25)  “Since the Amalĕqites and the Kenaʽanites are dwelling in the valley, turn back tomorrow and set out into the wilderness by the Way of the Sea of Reeds.”  (26)  And יהוה  {Jehovah} spoke to Mosheh, and to Aharon, saying,  (27)  “How long shall this evil congregation have this grumbling against Me? I have heard the grumblings which the children of Yisra’ĕl are grumbling against Me.  (28)  “Say to them, ‘As I live,’ declares יהוה  {Jehovah}, ‘as you have spoken in My hearing, so I do to you:  (29)  ‘The carcasses of you who have grumbled against Me are going to fall in this wilderness, all of you who were registered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above.  (30)  ‘None of you except Kalĕḇ son of Yephunneh, and Yehoshua son of Nun, shall enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in.  (31)  ‘But your little ones, whom you said would become a prey, I shall bring in, and they shall know the land which you have rejected.  (32)  ‘But as for you, your carcasses are going to fall in this wilderness.  (33)  ‘And your sons shall be wanderers in the wilderness forty years, and shall bear your whorings, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness.  (34)  ‘According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days – a day for a year, a day for a year – you are to bear your crookednesses forty years, and you shall know My breaking off.  (35)  ‘I am יהוה  {Jehovah}, I have spoken, I shall do this to all this evil congregation who are meeting against Me: In this wilderness they are consumed, and there they die.’ ”  (36)  And the men whom Mosheh sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing an evil report of the land,  (37)  even those men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before יהוה  {Jehovah}.  (38)  Of those men who went to spy out the land, only Yehoshua son of Nun, and Kalĕḇ son of Yephunneh remained alive.

Their hesitation and disbelief did not help them to go further instead, this time, it angered God. Their fear caused them to wander and procrastinate and eventually kept them from what God wanted for them. They did it to themselves.

We should take such story as a lesson also for us. How much do we want to trust God? How much do we follow the path God has laid in front of us?

Caleb, the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, later could tell he was forty years old when Moses the servant of Jehovah sent him from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land. Though he brought Moses word again as it was in his heart, his brothers who went up with him made the heart of the people melt. Because Caleb kept faithful to God, fully following Jehovah his God, Jehovah has kept him alive these forty-five years as He said, even since Jehovah spoke this word to Moses, while Israel wandered in the wilderness. This made Caleb being able to become eighty-five years whilst others had died already.

Jos 14:6-10 The Scriptures 1998+  (6)  And the children of Yehuḏah came to Yehoshua in Gilgal, and Kalĕb son of Yephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which יהוה  {Jehovah} said to Mosheh the man of Elohim concerning you and me in Qad??sh Barn?a.  (7)  “I was forty years old when Mosheh the servant of יהוה  {Jehovah} sent me from Qaḏĕsh Barnĕa to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart.  (8)  “But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I followed יהוה  {Jehovah} my Elohim completely.  (9)  “So Mosheh swore on that day, saying, ‘The land on which your foot has trodden is your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have followed יהוה  {Jehovah} my Elohim completely.’  (10)  “And now, see, יהוה  {Jehovah} has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years since יהוה  {Jehovah} spoke this word to Mosheh while Yisra’ĕl walked in the wilderness. And now, see, I am eighty-five years old today.

The People of God who had received many proofs that God was with them still were not trusting God enough. Like for them you can say the edge of believing is always in front of us. From the fall onwards man got fear. Suddenly they were afraid to being naked and been seen by others. From then onwards fear stayed with man as a natural human emotion.

We should now that above fear there is the security of knowing. There is wisdom and healthy respect which shall be to our are benefit. Though we should be well aware that the danger is always looking around the corner. The adversary of God is always standing ready to bring us in doubt and to give us fear. This fear can shut us down when we don’t take it to God. We should be so convinced that we do not have to fear God by coming to Him with our doubts and questions. With all what we have in Scriptures we should know that we can trust Him. Jehovah is absolutely approachable with honest prayer and provides several means of reassurance. He also has given His only begotten son to be a mediator between God and man. In him too we should trust, that he can talk in our name with his heavenly Father and be our guide in distress.

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Please do find to read further:

Like grasshoppers

Believing in God the Rewarder

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Additional reading:

  1. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  2. God Our Refuge
  3. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart

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  • Bulletin Articles: “The Wise Joshua Did Not Know the Source of the Problem” & “A Sword through Your Soul” (grantspasschurchofchrist.com)
    Joshua said connected the name of Israel with the name of God, and if Israel suffered defeat, that would dishonor the name of God.

    God then revealed to Joshua the problem, and he fixed it immediately, then Israel went back to winning their battles.

  • The Ages, are cycles within still other cycles and mankind would do well to note this. (onthehillgilayjun.blogspot.com)
    For each Soul has free will to choose to move into their lower base nature and become a partaker in the destruction of Creation even if it is through ignorance.
  • Learning to Stand Still (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
    If the Israelites had attempted to cross the Red Sea before it parted, they would have drowned. If they had fled north to try to avoid the Egyptians, God would not have moved in a miraculous way. God cannot work on our behalf if we continually try to solve our problem when He has instructed us to stand still. Standing still is sometimes the greatest action we can do, although it is the most difficult thing to do in the Christian walk.
  • 23.5 Moses 23, Day 5 (thenotesaregood.com)
    Unlike the King of Moab who rallied his troops in a defensive position to protect their land from their fear of trespassing Jews, Sihon brought out his army to attack – to vainly oppose both the people of God and God Himself.
  • A Little Man Attacking God (between2citiesblog.wordpress.com)
    The Israelites were running for their lives from the Egyptians who were led by the most powerful human king in all the ancient middle east (Pharoah). He was not only perceived to be the most powerful king, but was actually thought to be a god. SO when the people of Israel saw their God opening up the waters for them to pass, and then the Pharaoh chasing them down, this would have looked a lot like the battle of the gods. But, instead of feeling like audience members at a WWE pay-per-view, the Israelites were terrified.
  • Red See (snopes.com)
    On 24 October 2014, the web site World News Daily Report (WNDR) published an article claiming that chariot wheels and the bones of horses and men had been discovered at the bottom of the Red Sea, thereby supposedly proving archaeological proof of the Biblical narrative about the escape of the Israelites from the Egyptians. (According to the Book of Exodus, God parted the Red Sea long enough for the Moses-led Israelites to walk across it on dry ground, but closed the waters up again upon the pursuing Egyptian army and drowned them all.)
  • Exodus 19:10-11 – And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. (church4u2.wordpress.com)
    There is a great need in this season for God’s people to be come into renewal and effectiveness in their faith. The Bible tells us that renewal comes when we are consecrated, or set apart, for the LORD. There is a season to be relevant to the culture around us, and there is a season to stand out. Church history tells us that setting ourselves apart for prayer and self denial can bring us into renewal.
  • Scripture for when you need a promise (notconsumed.com)
    I’m much like those Israelites…clinging to the slavery of what is known (no matter what the cost) and forgetting the promises of my loving and merciful Savior. In the waves of the storm, I can’t see all that God has promised and I long for what was before.
  • God Called Moses The Exodus Story Continues (Part 4 Of 5) (vineandbranchworldministries.com)
    Moses stretched out his hand to the skies. Thick darkness descended on the land of Egypt for three days. Nobody could see anybody. For three days no one could so much as move. Except for the Israelites; they had light where they were living.
  • Kee Teesa: Aaron as Substitute Teacher (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
    Why did the Israelites build the Golden Calf? Barely three months had passed since God freed Israel from slavery, in the course of which they beheld the most extraordinary miracles and wonders: the Ten Plagues, the Splitting of the Reed Sea, and now the thunderous, magnificent descent of God onto Mt. Sinai, certainly not the most awesome of mountains.

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