Withheld 40 Years
In the second year after leaving Egypt,
God had moved the Israelites to a new camp in the wilderness of Paran (Numbers 10:11-12).
Moses sent twelve men, one leader or ruler from each tribe,
to spy out the Promised Land and bring back a report on the land and its inhabitants (Numbers 13:1-2).
These men were gone 40 days.
On their return, all but two, Joshua and Caleb, misrepresented what they had seen, giving an evil report.
When Joshua and Caleb reported the truth, the people tried to stone them.
They accepted the evil report, complained against God, doubted, rebelled, and disobeyed.
Have you ever wondered why these Israelites were 40 years in the desolate, barren, desert and mountain wilderness getting to the Promised Land?
It was not because it required 40 years of travel.
These men sent to report on it journeyed to it, walked all over it from one end to the other and returned, round trip, in 40 days.
But the people griped, disbelieved God, disobeyed, and refused to go forthwith to possess it instead of deciding to march ahead and possess this great prize God wanted to give them, they despised it, lacked faith to go in and possess it, refused to march forward.
This Promised Land is a type of the glorious Kingdom of God, which the living Savior, Jesus Christ, offers us.
But today we, the descendants
of those Israelites, despise it,
prefer the slavery of sin, fail to exercise the faith to go on and possess God's Kingdom. We, too, rebel, disbelieve, and disobey. And those who thus despise it shall not enter that glorious Kingdom with eternal life in happiness and accomplishment.
To this rebellious population,
God said: "Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness... ye shall not come into the land... save ....... and Joshua...
But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in,
and they shall know the land which ye have despised" (Numbers 14:29-31).
"And," continued God, "your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms,
until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness" (verse 83).
And now comes the "day-for-a-year principle":
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