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Good Morning.

And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!” (Numbers 14:2)

The Bible says that, upon hearing the report of the spies, the people began to weep and lament, thinking it would have been better to die in Egypt or in the wilderness than to have to face the inhabitants of Canaan. They went so far as to conclude that God had actually brought them into the wilderness to kill them with their wives and their children. Someone even had the audacity to stand up and call for a new leader to be selected who would take them back to Pharaoh. The bottom line is they considered bondage in Egypt to be  better than what God intended for them.

Jewish tradition says that this day was 9 Av, a day that Israel was destined to mourn and lament time and again. In distant centuries, the people of God would mourn the destruction of both Temples, each of them ransacked and burned on this very day. It’s almost as if the Creator said, “If you are determined to weep and mourn, I’m going to give you something to weep and mourn about.” How many parents understand that sentiment? And so it is obvious that, after all they had seen and suffered as a result of unbelief and complaining, they still had not learned their lesson.

Looking back on their errors, it would be easy for us to shake our head in disgust and wonder why they would do such a thing after all God had done for them. But then, let’s consider ourselves; let’s consider all the wonderful things He has done for us and how many times we have doubted in spite of His faithfulness. Let’s consider how many times we have failed, sometimes in the very same way as before, in spite of His unfailing commitment to us. In other words, generally speaking, we are just like them — human. And so these closing words come to mind today:

If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope…. O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption (Psalm 130:3-5, 7).

Blessings and Shalom,  




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