The great mass of mankind never try for themselves what religion is; they neither search our sacred books, nor taste and try our religion. But this is what they do; they consider those who make a profession of religion as spies who have entered the land, and they look upon our character and our conduct as the message which we bring back to them. The ungodly man does not read his Bible in order to discover whether the religion of Christ is holy and beautiful, no, he reads the living Bible—Christ’s church—and if the church is inconsistent, he condemns the Bible, though the Bible is never to be accountable for the sins of those who profess to believe it.Charles Haddon Spurgeon[i]
Jesus acknowledged that the “greatest and foremost commandment” was that a person love God with all one’s heart, soul, and mind followed by the requirement to love one’s neighbor as oneself.[ii] He went on to state that upon these two commandments the whole Law and Prophets rested. It was clearly not Jesus’ intent to imply that the rest of God’s moral law should be abolished in favor of adherence to only these two love commandments.[iii] Noted theologian, Douglas J. Moo, states that “in no case in the Gospels does love serve as grounds for abrogating any commandment,” but these two commandments do establish “the priority of love within the law.”[iv] In other words, these two love commandments sum up the rest of the Law, but they in no way cancel out the remainder of God’s moral commandments. Once one is saved through the free grace of Jesus Christ, the old self slowly fades away and is replaced with a desire to obey God’s moral law and do the right thing even if we sometimes fall short of that goal (Hebrews 8:10). This process is called being “born again” (John 3:3-21).
To love God and to selflessly love others as oneself is to desire to be one’s best and to make the world a better place in the process. To love beyond oneself and to strive for a greater good, eternal love, and the rewards of heaven rather than the sensual delights and vain glories of this world are the beginnings of Christian heroism.
We should each pray that we will be a Caleb or Joshua from the Old Testament when our hour of trial or testing comes upon us as it did them in the story below. Eventually an hour of testing comes upon everyone; we must pray that we will stand firm in the principles of our Faith in that hour. We should all pray that we will have the courage and wisdom to avoid rebellion and choose that narrower and more difficult path of truth, love, and resolute courage that leads to the Promised Land through the Will of God.
In addition to love, there is a strong and consistent demand in the Bible that humanity respect God and obey His moral commandments.[v] Obedience to God’s moral commandments is rarely preached in many modern churches, but the obligation still exists. God will never condone evil or look with favor upon wickedness for He is unchanging Holiness.[vi] Famed pastor and theologian, David Jeremiah, goes so far as to say that obedience to God’s written Word is an obligation of discipleship and that the way one regards the Bible is the way one regards Christ, the living Word.[vii] Jesus saw obedience to His commandments and Word as proof that an individual truly loved Him (John 14:21, 23-24). William Barclay summarized this as, “Fellowship with God and the revelation of God are dependent on love; and love is dependent on obedience.”[viii] Jesus stated that only those “who do the will of My Father will enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 7:21). This is sobering for those who hope to enter the kingdom of heaven without taking God’s moral laws seriously. As they stood on the threshold of the Promised Land, the failure of the ancient Israelites to respect God’s utter holiness, obey His commandments, and believe His promises resulted in disaster as we shall see in the story below of the twelve spies sent out by Moses. It is a cautionary tale for us in our time.
It is often forgotten that, after being led out of Egypt by Moses, the ancient Israelites went directly to Mount Sinai (Mount Horeb) over a period of months as instructed by God (Exodus 3:12). Once there, they spent approximately one year receiving the Ten Commandments, constructing the Tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant, and taking a census of all men of military age. After this they set out for the Promised Land, arriving at its southern boundary, within several months.[ix] They then camped at Kadesh-barnea. The point here is that it did not initially take the Israelites forty years of aimless wandering in the wilderness to reach the Promised Land but only about two years at most.[x]
So how did a triumphant story of the exodus of God’s people from slavery in Egypt, the subsequent destruction of the Pharaoh’s army, and the divine revelations of God at Mount Sinai devolve into thirty-eight additional years of punishment in the wilderness characterized by complaining, recrimination, and general misery?
As is often the case in times of stress, when a people walk on the knife’s edge of history, if a few key players stumble it can bring down ruin upon all.
The Bible says that when one knows the right thing to do, it constitutes sin to turn aside from doing it (James 4:17).
Prior to advancing into the Promised Land, Moses sent out twelve men, each one a leader in his own tribe, to spy out the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:1-2; Deuteronomy 1:22). They were to assess the land, people, cities, and best route. The names of the twelve men are listed in Numbers 13:4-16. Ten of these names were destined to live on in disgrace and infamy. Two of these names, Caleb and Joshua, shine on forever in history’s hall of heroes. In a journey that took forty days the spies traversed the length of the Promised Land, even visiting Hebron. In the valley of Eshcol the men cut down a single cluster of grapes so large that it had to be carried on a pole between two men. They then returned to the Israeli camp at Kadesh-barnea to give their report to Moses and Aaron before the entire congregation of the sons of Israel.
Then something unaccountable happened. Before the sojourn in Egypt, God had long-ago promised the land before them to the descendants of Abraham (Genesis 15: 18; See also, Exodus 5:7-8). God had also promised the Israelites victory over the peoples of the Promised Land if they were faithful (Exodus 23:22-23; 34: 10-11; Deuteronomy 1:30). The recent census had shown that Israel had 603,550 able-bodied men ready for war. All the Israelites had witnessed the ten plagues of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea and the subsequent destruction of the Egyptian army, the provision of water and manna in the wilderness, the victory over the Amalek, and God’s divine revelations at Mt Sinai. And yet ten of the twelve spies, who were leaders in their tribes, gave a negative, defeatist, distorted, fear-inspiring report. This false report would ignite a collective panic attack among the Israelite congregation with fatal consequences.
The ten faithless spies reported that the land they traveled had indeed been “flowing with milk and honey” and they displayed the huge cluster of grapes. They went on, however, to emphasize that the inhabitants of the Promised Land were giants living in large, fortified cities. They claimed that the Promised Land was a land that devoured its inhabitants and that the giants were descendants of Anak and the feared Nephilim (Genesis 6:1-4). While they had no doubt seen large people and perhaps even giants, the Nephilim (said to be descendants of illicit unions between fallen angels and human women) had perished in the great flood of Noah’s time.[xi] The wayward spies even said that in the presence of the large inhabitants of the Promised Land they had felt like mere grasshoppers before them. The faithless spies were clearly embellishing their report to make it even more terrifying by referencing these ancient terrors.
This surprising report betrayed God, the truth, and Moses.
As disappointment, anger, and panic began to grip the Israelites, Caleb attempted to quiet and reassure them before Moses by saying, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it (the Promised Land) for we will surely overcome it.” The faithless spies then doubled down on their negative report and said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” They painted a picture of the Israelites as casualties on the battlefield rather than victors to the glory of God. The majority of the Israelites then lifted up their voices and wept. The children of Israel complained against Moses, Aaron, and the Lord saying:
Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt? So, they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt”.(Numbers 14:2-4)
Caleb and Joshua, being men of faith, a “different spirit,” and stout hearts, then tore their clothes and spoke to the congregation stating:
The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.(Numbers 14:7-9)
In response to the pleas of Caleb and Joshua the assembly of Israelites, which had turned into an angry mob, would have stoned Caleb and Joshua had not the glory of the Lord suddenly appeared in the sight of all the sons of Israel (Numbers 14:10). The Israelites had descended into rebellion against Moses, Aaron, and the Lord within minutes.
Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?”
Then Moses begged the Lord to forgive the faint-hearted congregation and not destroy them.[xii] The Lord then vowed that no one who had seen His glory and the signs that He had performed in Egypt and the wilderness and yet still doubted Him would enter the Promised Land. All the Israelites twenty years of age and above were condemned to die wandering for the next thirty-eight years in the wilderness without coming into the Promised Land. Only Caleb, Joshua, and the children (whom the Israelites had accused the Lord of delivering to become their enemy’s “plunder”) would be permitted to enter.[xiii]
Why did ten of the twelve spies choose to betray God and their people with a fearful and false report when they could have stood firm with God on His promises and been heroes? To a certain extent it was probably the result of demonic activity. Since Genesis, Satan has sought to destroy the people from whom Jesus Christ would one day come in order to foil God’s plan of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ— the Messiah.[xiv] Satan has always taken delight in magnifying the pride, doubts, fears, weaknesses, and vices of mankind to get men and women to work their own destruction. Had the Israelites permanently abandoned their attempt to return to the Promised Land and foolishly returned to Egypt they probably would have been slain. Had that occurred there would never have been a King David or a Jesus Christ. The fear of the ten faithless spies became a snare for them, confounding their report, because they had failed to trust in the Lord who was ready to exalt them (Proverbs 29:25).
Apparently, the ten rebellious spies concluded, as do many in our own time, that the will of the Lord could safely be ignored. They feared the enemies and obstacles of the world more than they feared God.
There was no evidence of trust, faith, or respect for God in the ten wayward spies. When there is no longer a respectful fear and awe of God can there be a living and vibrant faith? It is certain that, notwithstanding the miracles that they had witnessed thus far during the Exodus, the ten errant spies still lacked faith in the Lord’s ability to give them victory in the conquest of the Promised Land. We know that “without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). God detests slavery and oppression in all its forms and yet history has often been a story of humanity rejecting the one true God to follow tyrants and oppressive ideologies like Islam, Fascism, socialism, and communism resulting in ruined lives and the murder of millions upon millions of people who objected to the horror.
God had brought His people out of Egypt and into the bright light of freedom and liberty, but it was easier to strike slavery’s shackles from their hands than slavery’s claim upon their hearts. Throughout the miraculous story of the Exodus there was complaining and rebellion on the part of the Israelites every time hardship or danger reared its head.[xv] It was remarkable how quickly the Israelites romanticized their experience of slavery in Egypt and claimed to desire to return to their former bondage.[xvi] It was easy for God to see that they were not yet ready as a people to take back the Promised Land. As for the ten rebellious spies, they all met a miserable end dying in an outbreak of the plague (Numbers 14:36).
As noted above, Caleb and Joshua were indeed men of a “different spirit.” Their response to what they had observed during their forty-day sortie into enemy territory was totally different from that of the other ten spies. They obviously had total faith in the Lord and believed His promises. Their profound respect for the Lord led them to respond wisely to the Israelite congregation before Moses and Aaron, because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.[xvii]
The wisdom that flows from this profound awe, fear, or respect for the Lord bestows knowledge of the Lord, the ability to discern righteousness, justice, equity, and every good course.[xviii] It is also said to be the fountain of life[xix] and longevity.[xx] “The Lord favors those who fear Him, and those who wait for His lovingkindness” (Psalm 147:11). It was with the Lord’s favor that Joshua took command of the Israelites upon the death of Moses and successfully lead them in the conquest of the Promised Land. He was one hundred-ten years old when he died (Joshua 24:29).
Caleb was forty years old when he and Joshua were sent with the other 10 spies into the Promised Land (Joshua 14:7). By the time the Israelites were fully engaged in their conquest of Canaan he was eighty-five years old and could say, “I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in” (Joshua 14:11). Caleb requested that Joshua give him hill country to conquer where the giant Anakim, who so terrified the ten faithless spies, still lived in large, fortified cities. Joshua blessed Caleb and, with the Lord’s favor, Caleb drove out the Anakim and took possession of the hill country and Hebron, the ancient town where Abraham, Issac, and Jacob were buried.
What does the sad history of the twelve spies sent out by Moses have to do with concerns of the twenty-first century?
In a spiritual sense, the Old Testament is an epic non-fictional Beowulf or Lord of the Rings Trilogy[xxi] for Western Civilization. In the events of that distant time, “we see in a mirror dimly”[xxii] a reflection of similar events and motivations in our time. Biblical heroes like Moses, Caleb, and Joshua still speak to us today, and their faith, courage, and honor is still inspirational. In many churches and denominations, the valuable lessons and insights of the Old Testament are rarely preached today, and yet the Old Testament is the foundation upon which the New Testament is built. Those who ignore the Old Testament fail to understand that the truth and prophecy of the Old Testament constitute the vibrant headwaters from which the wonder of New Testament salvation springs. Those who diminish and disparage the God of the Old Testament in favor of a supposedly “more tolerant” Jesus Christ of the New Testament show their ignorance of the triune God whom we serve. God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are one God, and they work together in perfect harmony.
Jesus quoted from twenty-two books of the Old Testament as the authoritative Word of God thereby sealing the ongoing relevance of its authority.[xxiii] Jesus and all His apostles were devout first-century Jews. Jesus Christ stated that “salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22).
Indeed, the Apostle Paul goes so far as to note that the Christian believer is a wild olive branch grafted onto the cultivated Jewish olive tree, because Christianity also draws life from the root of God’s original covenantal promises to the Jewish patriarchs (Romans 11:17-18). Paul further notes that “if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). William Barclay states that Paul was reminding the Christian that, “There would have been no such thing as Christianity unless there had been Judaism first.” Paul thus warns the Christian to feel no arrogance against the Jew. New Testament scholar Michael G. Vanlaningham affirms that the fact that the Christian believer benefits from the Abrahamic covenant makes anti-Semitism “ludicrous.”[xxiv]
Both Joshua and Caleb were mighty, courageous men who proved that those who place their faith in the Lord and fear Him have no fear of anything else. They demonstrated an instinctive understanding of Shakespeare’s famous observation, “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”[xxv] It is sad to reflect how many faithless ministers, theologians, media pundits, economists, and politicians have abandoned the defense of objective truth to curry favor and brief success with our current corrupt culture. For centuries, these pillars of our society were relied upon to be the guardrails of truth. Now we find that many have become rebellious “spies” in the service of the Enemy. Our Judeo-Christian civilization is beginning to crumble as a result and taking God’s blessings with it.
“You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice” (Exodus 23:2).
In our time, the voluntary choice to follow Jesus Christ and walk in the morally pleasing ways of God, as defined in the Old and New Testaments, does not always require us to be mighty heroes such as Caleb and Joshua. It does, however, require us to stand firm in the truth of God’s Word.
The conscious resolution to try to be good people does not necessarily always require us to be heroes. Sometimes all that is required is that we refuse to be corrupted. Sometimes we may be placed in a certain position or circumstance simply as caretakers to prevent someone else who is corrupt from achieving a position of power. Often the role God would have us play does not demand that we be brilliant, strong, or daring, but simply honorable, honest, and trustworthy.[xxvi]
Our God is a God of light and not darkness, of goodness and not evil, and love and not hate. He desires a relationship with each of us. He did not require that Abraham sacrifice his son, Issac, to prove his love for God,[xxvii] but God did sacrifice His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ,[xxviii] to prove His love for us.
At the moment Jesus died upon the cross, the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom.[xxix] This opening of the curtain which had historically separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place in the Temple symbolized that Jesus’ sacrifice had reconciled God to those who accepted His son as their Savior, thus opening the door to a new personal relationship with Him that had been closed since the Fall in the Garden of Eden.[xxx] As a result, all true believers in Jesus Christ now have access to God directly through prayer.
There is today, in progressive theological circles, constant talk of the need to discover God’s Will with respect to the flashpoint moral issues of our time. This apparent confusion and befuddlement exist even though God’s Will regarding these moral issues is plainly written in the Bible—often the last place to be searched if searched at all. It is easy to discern God’s will in His plainly written moral law with respect to issues like abortion, sexual sin including homosexuality, marriage, all forms of stealing, and biblical justice versus Marxist inspired social justice. The troublesome point for liberal theologians and clergy is the constant necessity of finding ways around God’s moral law to satisfy the hedonistic demands of our secular culture. It is small wonder that liberal clergy and theologians are now claiming that the Bible is elastic or no longer essential at all.
As Charles Spurgeon notes in the quote at the beginning of this article, most people today no longer read the Bible to discover the blessings of a relationship with Jesus Christ. They look to the example of those who claim to be believers and the “leaders of our tribes” (Numbers 13:2) such as theologians, ministers, academics, media pundits, and even politicians who have been sent out to discover the best route to the Promised Land. Our Promised Land is the Kingdom of Heaven. All those who have repented of their sins and turned from them, accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior, and believing that He was raised from the dead, have been promised eternal life and adoption as Children of God.[xxxi] This is our hope and the land towards which the believer travels. The best compass for our journey is the Bible which God has given us, and it is the only reliable source of God’s Truth. The root cause of most of our society’s current ruin lies in the fact that so many people no longer read the Bible. Far too many biblically ignorant individuals prefer to hear the reports of the often errant, often faithless “spies” sent out by our culture to discover an easier, alternative route to the kingdom of heaven rather than that prescribed in the Bible.
The story of the rich man and Lazarus is one of Jesus’ most revealing and important parables (Luke 16:19-31). After a life of ease and thoughtless comfort, the rich man died and was condemned to torment in Hades. The poor Lazarus died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man begged Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn his five brothers to change their ways so that they might avoid his fate in Hades. Abraham responded:
They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them. But he [the rich man] said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ But he [Abraham] said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead’.(Luke 16:27-31)
In this parable, Jesus was clearly warning every one that ignoring God’s Scriptures would have eternal consequences. Jesus was also prophesying that many people would not believe even if someone rose from the dead as He would later do.
Today the ratio of faithless spies to truthful, courageous spies is probably about the same as in the story of Moses and the spies he commissioned.
In many respects, our time has many similarities to that of the prophet Jeremiah. It is a time of false teachers, charlatans, blind guides, theological saboteurs, and a people that have forgotten how “to blush”:
An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so!(Jeremiah 5: 30-31)
Our modern-day faithless spies all too often bring back reports of the strength of the Enemy in our secular world. They advocate endless retreat, appeasement, compromise, and accommodation with the ancient forces of darkness that hearken back to the sins of the Canaanites such as child sacrifice, all manner of sexual sin including homosexuality, and the worship of demonic forces. These are the moral sins for which God spewed the inhabitants of the Promised Land out before the returning Israelites (Leviticus 18: 1-30). These are the sins for which God permitted the conquest and captivity of His people by Nebuchadnezzar. The forgotten bit of biblical history just discussed is both a caution and an omen for our generation as the countries of the West slip slowly into the beguiling embrace of most of these age-old sins against God’s moral law. These are the sins which have been the corruption and doom of humanity from time immemorial. Who would have believed even twenty years ago that today we would see Christian seminaries, churches, and entire Christian denominations dancing proudly around the golden calf of these sorts of apostasy.
Such appeasement and acceptance of practices condemned by God in both the Old and New Testaments point people to the well-lit, wide, and easy gate (Matthew 7:13-15) where God’s Word is contorted, distorted, and rewritten to fit the prevailing liberal, progressive narrative.[xxxii] Viewed in this light, progressive morality can be seen as the regressive morality of pre-biblical and pre-Christian times. A plain reading of Scripture leaves little doubt that Jesus would regard the liberal, progressive theology of evolving or elastic Scripture as “lawlessness” that leads not to the Promised Land of heaven, but the burning sands of an eternal wilderness.[xxxiii] For too long much of the Christian church in America and the countries of the West has given Satan the comfort of its silence and the cover of liberal, false teaching as he pursues his agenda for our destruction. God’s Word is truth (John 17:17), and the Apostle Paul stated that those who distort that truth or suppress it fall under the wrath of God (Romans 1:18).
“So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
The best defense against the false teachings of faithless spies is to read God’s truth for oneself in both the Old and New Testaments. There are many easy-to-read translations of the Bible into modern English.[xxxiv]
Even though we live in a time when the love of many grows cold (Matthew 24:10-13), God always preserves a remnant of the faithful who trust in Him and His promises and do not fear the hobgoblins of doubt and fear placed upon the believers’ path to our Promised Land of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Fortunately, there are also still Calebs and Joshuas among us whose faithful teachings can still be viewed via books, streaming, television, and DVDs. Examples of courageous modern teachers who are still faithful to God’s Word include Gary Hamrick, David Jeremiah, Robert Jeffress, Rob Pacienza, Franklin Graham, Michael Youssef, Curt Dodd, and (although now deceased) D. James Kennedy, Charles F. Stanley, Billy Graham, Adrian Rogers, and Harold E. Salem. There are also still many faithful and courageous ministers still bringing God’s truth to your community although you may have to sample several churches before you find them. For those who care to seek it, the wisdom of God’s true plan for salvation through Jesus Christ can still be found and readily accessed in America and many countries of the West, but the days grow ever shorter. The world desperately needs Christians to stand firm and defiant like Caleb and Joshua when today’s faithless, liberal spies challenge the all-knowing, unchangeable, holiness of God and seek to undermine the truth of His Scriptures with false teaching.
Most Scripture references are taken from the New American Standard Bible©, Copyright©1960, 1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977, 1995, by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
[i] Spurgeon, Charles Haddon, The Spies, a sermon dated June 6,1858 from New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 4, https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/the-spies/#flipbook/ (accessed September 29, 2023).
[ii] Matthew 22:37-40; Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18.
[iii] Matthew 5:17-20; John 10:35 (“the Scripture cannot be broken”).
[iv] Carson, D. A. “Matthew.” In Matthew and Mark. Vol. 9 of Expositor’s Bible Commentary, rev. ed., edited by Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, p.523-524 (quoting Douglas J. Moo in Jesus and the Authority of the Mosaic Law). (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012).
[v] Exodus 19:5-6,23:22; Deuteronomy 5:33, 11:1, 26-28, 28:1; Joshua 24:1; 1 Samuel 15:22; Isaiah 1:19; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Mark 3:35; Matthew 7:24, 12:50; Luke 6:46-49, 8:21, 11:28; John 14:15, 21, 23-24;15:10; Acts 5:29;1 Peter 1:14;1 John 2:3-6;5:3; 2 John 1:6,9; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
[vi] Habakkuk 1:13; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17; Hebrews 13:8; Numbers 23:19; Isaiah 40:8,28; Psalm 102:25-27; Matthew 24:35; Revelation 22:13: See also, Hebrews 6:4-8; 10:26-31; Matthew 13:19-23.
[vii] The David Jeremiah ESV Study Bible (2019 David Jeremiah, Inc, Worthy, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc, New York), p. 1428 (note 17:6-8) and p.787 (note3:5,6):” Obedience activates God’s promises.”
[viii] William Barclay, The Gospel of John, rev. ed. (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1975) vol. 2, p. 169.
[ix] According to Deuteronomy 1:2, the journey from Mt. Sinai to Kadesh-barnea could have been made in as little as eleven days.
[x] Allen, Ronald B., “Numbers.” In Numbers to Ruth. Vol.2 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, rev. ed., edited by Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, p. 179. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012); Coakley, James, “Numbers.” The Moody Bible Commentary, edited by Michael Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham, p. 227, 234 (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2014); See also, Henry, Matthew, “Numbers.” In Genesis to Deuteronomy. Vol. 1 of Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, p. 487, (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, LLC,  2021).
[xi] The David Jeremiah ESV Study Bible (2019 David Jeremiah, Inc, Worthy, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc, New York), p. 187 (note 13:31-33), 188.
[xii] Even as he (Moses) acknowledged that the Lord “is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations.”
[xiii] Moses and Aaron were not part of the rebellion against the Lord at Kadesh-barnea. They were denied entry into the Promised Land due to the Waters of Meribah incident, “You did not believe in Me [the Lord], to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them” (Numbers 20:10-13).
[xiv] Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”
[xv] Exodus 14:11-12, 15:24, 16:3,16:20, 16:27-29, 17:2-3, 32:7-10; Numbers 11:1-2, 11:4, 14:1-4.
[xvi] We see this in our own time as many people in the United States desire the adoption of the godless ideologies of socialism/communism notwithstanding the universal failures of this economic theory in Soviet Russia, Red China, East Germany, North Korea, and most recently Venezuela. Throughout history much of humanity has shown a demonic infatuation for oppression over freedom, for darkness over light, and for death over life. Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”
[xvii] Proverbs 9:10; Psalm 111:10; Job 28:28.
[xviii] Proverbs 2:9
[xix] Proverbs 14:27; 19:23.
[xx] Proverbs 10:27.
[xxi] J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003 ).
[xxii] Corinthians 13:12.
[xxiii] See, Henrietta C. Mears, What the Bible Is All About, (Minneapolis, Minnesota: World Wide Publications (Published for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) 1966 ), 12.
[xxiv] Dennis R. Ayers, The Beginning of Wisdom (Little Elm, TX: eLectio Publishing, LLC, 2022 ),66-67.
[xxv] William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene 2.
[xxvi] Dennis R. Ayers, The Beginning of Wisdom (Little Elm, TX: eLectio Publishing, LLC, 2022 ), 100.
[xxvii] Genesis 22:11-14.
[xxviii] John 3:16-18.
[xxix] Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45.
[xxx] The David Jeremiah ESV Study Bible (2019 David Jeremiah, Inc, Worthy, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc, New York), P. 1335 (note 15:38).
[xxxi] John 1:12-13; Romans 8:14-15; Ephesians 1:4-5; Galatians 3:26, 4:3-7; 1 John 3:1; 2 Corinthians 6:18; See also, John 3:16-17,3:36; John 5:24; John 6:47-51; John 10:27-28; John 14:2,6; 1 John 5:11; Matthew 6:19-20, 7:21; Mark 10:29-30; Luke 23:39-43.
[xxxii] “There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers(Proverbs 6:16-19; See also, Matthew 15:19-20).
[xxxiii] “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23).
[xxxiv] Bibles in modern English include the: New American Standard Version; New King James Version; English Standard Version, and Modern English Version. These excellent translations can be found in helpful study Bible formats such as The ESV Jeremiah Study Bible; The NKJV Jeremiah Study Bible; The MEV D. James Kennedy Topical Study Bible; The NASB Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible; and the NJKV Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible.