Numbers 11 - This chapter brings us into the awful pattern of complaining and murmuring that would characterize the Israelite people during their trek through the wilderness. How quickly they forgot all of God's miracles in Egypt and His great miracle of parting the Red Sea so they could get away from slavery! We read of their lusting after the food of Egypt and their lack of appreciation for the daily manna from God. God had every right to judge them, but He did so with a desire that they would grow to trust Him and stop their doubting. This pattern is still seen today among God's people, who, though they have received a magnificent salvation from a Majestic God, they (we) are still prone to forget God's power and provision and worry, fret, and complain. May God help us to learn from what we read. This chapter also speaks of the 70 elders who would assist Moses in handling civil disputes among the people. God still looks for "peace-makers" today.
Numbers 12 - Another sad chapter of the Bible is this one. Aaron and Miriam became jealous of Moses' access to God and his position as God's spokesman to Israel. God is angry with their insubordination and ultimate rejection of God's choices. He sharply disciplines Miriam with leprosy for a week to teach her a valuable lesson. Aaron and Miriam had great influence in Israel and they should have been appreciative of the ways God was using them. Again, a lesson for all of us to learn from.
Numbers 13 - In this chapter we clearly see God's plan to choose twelve men, one from each tribe, to send them into Canaan and get a firsthand look at the Promised Land! What a privilege they had, and at least two, Caleb and Joshua, would see what God wanted them to see: a land "ripe for the picking!" God wanted these men to see the great land He had promised them and come back and encourage the rest of the people to take possession of it! But, as you'll see at the end of this chapter ten of the men can only look at the obstacles and overlook the magnitude and the greatness of the land! Caleb had the "right stuff!" He wanted to go immediately and conquer it. However, you'll see how discouragement is like a contagious disease and how quickly the rest of the adult Israelites would refuse to go.