Disobedience Of God 's Commandments

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Disobedience to God’s commandments always results in punishment. For Israel, their disobedience caused them to wander the wilderness for forty years. Numbers records Israel’s wanderings during this time. Although they were on the border of the Promised Land, the children of Israel instead reverted to fear and cowardice rather than faith in God and obedience to His commands. Prior to the wilderness wandering, God commanded the children of Israel to investigate the Promised Land. One man from each tribe was chosen to carry out this command (Num. 13:1-3). The purpose for doing this was to identify the strength of the Canaanite nations that inhabited the land and to verify the goodness of it (Num. 13:17-20). The spies successfully scouted the land, but their findings caused a problem for the Israelites. Instead of trusting God to give them the land that they investigated, the majority of the spies provide a dreadful report rather than a good one (Num. 13:31-33). Despite Joshua and Caleb’s insistence that the Israelites could easily conquer the land, the other spies convinced the people that they could not do it. They even resorted to exaggeration to support their claims. God did not look favorably upon these reports. Their choice to fall prey to fear would force God to exact judgment. This judgment would be the forty year wilderness wandering (Num. 14:28-35). The price for their disobedience was great. The people who feared man above God would perish in the wilderness instead of witnessing the fulfillment of God’s promise to them. Unfortunately, their disobedience extended to the people who did trust God since they were also forced to wander the wilderness. This event sets an unfortunate precedent for Israel’s future relationship... ... middle of paper ... ... on the Mount is essentially a miniature Deuteronomy. Jesus seeks to correct Pharisaic misinterpretations of the Law just as Moses seeks to clarify any misunderstandings the Israelites have about the Law. Moses’ ultimate goal is to clarify the Law for the people (Deut. 1:5). The word “declare” is the focal point of this passage. The Hebrew word that is used here is bahar. This term has a greater semantic range than simple declaration. It is defined more broadly as “make distinct; plain” (Brown 91). Moses is explaining the Law to the people in the plainest language possible. He wants the Israelites to know what God expects of them in the land. He wants them to understand that a spiritual relationship with God is what is important. His clarification of the law shows that it is not a checklist. God desired their hearts above all, and this will never change (Mic. 6:6-8).

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