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January 13, 2024

“It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea.” Deuteronomy 1:2.

When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt to the promised land, it could have been a rather easy and short journey. But it took them decades to finally enter the land they were promised. It was actually the second generation that were born in the wilderness that got into the promised land. The first generation that first came out of Egypt never made it but all died.

Moses in Deuteronomy tells the readers that it takes only 11 days to get to Kadesh Barnea from Mt. Horeb. So if you add the time it took to get to Horeb from Egypt, the total duration of time still wouldn’t be that too long. Finally, when the people arrived in Kadesh Barnea, Moses picked out 12 spies, one from each tribe, to check out the promised land. The spies returned with good reports of the land.

At the entrance of the promised land, the people started to complain. “Nevertheless, you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God; and you complained in your tents…” Deut. 1:26, 27. They did not even try to fight (even when they had God’s promises). They got scared.

And the LORD was angry. Therefore, He did not let this generation enter. In chapter 2 of this book, “So it was, when all the men of war (the first generation) had finally perished from among the people,” (Deut. 2:16) the LORD commanded Moses to fight for the land that God had promised. It took them 40 years to finally enter the promised land.

Do we get scared, too? Even when we have God on our back, do we need to get scared? I wonder how the Bible story would have changed if the first generation of people had trusted God and entered the promised land. I wonder how much things would have worked better had we learned to trust God from the beginning.


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