Deuteronomy 1 Commentary
We have an introduction to the work that centers around the recollections of the LORD’S instructions to a new generation. Moses is going to highlight key moments. First is the instruction to break camp and advance into Canaan. We are at Mount Sinai. From here the LORD had given Moses details of the land that Israel was to occupy. It extended as far as the great river Euphrates. It is the same as the one the LORD had given to the patriarch Abraham.
From chapter 1 we can see that the idea of spies wasn’t part of the original plan. A fearful nation needed convincing on the suitability or perhaps also the size of the task ahead. Investigating God’s word for suitability is a real disaster in waiting. The word must be believed and not questioned.
We have a couple of details that we didn’t see in Numbers. In Numbers Moses is silent as the spies spread a bad report. But here we learn of how Moses pleaded with the people to trust the LORD’S wisdom by referencing a rich history of the LORD’S might works amongst the people. It never worked.
The result of their doubt was banishment from the Promised Land. Deuteronomy gives us a summary of the book of Numbers in a couple of lines. It has highlighted events of Numbers chapters 13 and 14 as key events leading to the lengthy period of travel lasting 40 years. Moses’ own moment of failure is alluded to here.
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