In this week’s readings, we begin by looking at an extremely important incident in Israel’s history – when Moses sends twelve spies to scout out the promised land – and the report they bring back strikes fear into the hearts of the Israelites. Two of the spies – Joshua and Caleb – disagree with that sentiment and remind the people that God is with them… but they (and Moses) are ignored. This lack of faith is the reason God waits a generation – forty years – before leading his people into the promised land and only two of those who came out of Egypt – Joshua and Caleb – will live to see the promised land.
These rebellions continue throughout the readings this week as God continues to try and set things aright, including with the Bronze serpent incident (a moment which foreshadows the crucifixion of Jesus), and Balaam’s attempts to curse Israel which are foiled by God over and over again.
Here’s the reading plan for Numbers this week :