February 13: Day 44

Reading: Numbers 14-16, Psalm 44 (ESV)

Numbers 14

The People Rebel

1Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?" 4And they said to one another, "Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt."

5Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the people of Israel. 6And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes 7and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, "The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. 8If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. 9Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them." 10Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel.

11And the Lord said to Moses, "How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they."

Moses Intercedes for the People

13But Moses said to the Lord, "Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for you brought up this people in your might from among them, 14and they will tell the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you, O Lord, are in the midst of this people. For you, O Lord, are seen face to face, and your cloud stands over them and you go before them, in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15Now if you kill this people as one man, then the nations who have heard your fame will say, 16'It is because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land that he swore to give to them that he has killed them in the wilderness.' 17And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying, 18'The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.' 19Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now."

God Promises Judgment

20Then the Lord said, "I have pardoned, according to your word. 21But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, 22none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, 23shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it. 24But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it. 25Now, since the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valleys, turn tomorrow and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea."

26And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 27"How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. 28Say to them, 'As I live, declares the Lord, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: 29your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, 30not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. 31But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected. 32But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. 33And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. 34According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, a year for each day, you shall bear your iniquity forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.' 35I, the Lord, have spoken. Surely this will I do to all this wicked congregation who are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die."

36And the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing up a bad report about the land— 37the men who brought up a bad report of the land—died by plague before the Lord. 38Of those men who went to spy out the land, only Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive.

Israel Defeated in Battle

39When Moses told these words to all the people of Israel, the people mourned greatly. 40And they rose early in the morning and went up to the heights of the hill country, saying, "Here we are. We will go up to the place that the Lord has promised, for we have sinned." 41But Moses said, "Why now are you transgressing the command of the Lord, when that will not succeed? 42Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, lest you be struck down before your enemies. 43For there the Amalekites and the Canaanites are facing you, and you shall fall by the sword. Because you have turned back from following the Lord, the Lord will not be with you." 44But they presumed to go up to the heights of the hill country, although neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed out of the camp. 45Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and defeated them and pursued them, even to Hormah.


Numbers 15

Laws About Sacrifices

1The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2"Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving you, 3and you offer to the Lord from the herd or from the flock a food offering or a burnt offering or a sacrifice, to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering or at your appointed feasts, to make a pleasing aroma to the Lord, 4then he who brings his offering shall offer to the Lord a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour, mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil; 5and you shall offer with the burnt offering, or for the sacrifice, a quarter of a hin of wine for the drink offering for each lamb. 6Or for a ram, you shall offer for a grain offering two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a third of a hin of oil. 7And for the drink offering you shall offer a third of a hin of wine, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 8And when you offer a bull as a burnt offering or sacrifice, to fulfill a vow or for peace offerings to the Lord, 9then one shall offer with the bull a grain offering of three tenths of an ephah of fine flour, mixed with half a hin of oil. 10And you shall offer for the drink offering half a hin of wine, as a food offering, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

11"Thus it shall be done for each bull or ram, or for each lamb or young goat. 12As many as you offer, so shall you do with each one, as many as there are. 13Every native Israelite shall do these things in this way, in offering a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 14And if a stranger is sojourning with you, or anyone is living permanently among you, and he wishes to offer a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord, he shall do as you do. 15For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the Lord. 16One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you."

17The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18"Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land to which I bring you 19and when you eat of the bread of the land, you shall present a contribution to the Lord. 20Of the first of your dough you shall present a loaf as a contribution; like a contribution from the threshing floor, so shall you present it. 21Some of the first of your dough you shall give to the Lord as a contribution throughout your generations.

Laws About Unintentional Sins

22"But if you sin unintentionally, and do not observe all these commandments that the Lord has spoken to Moses, 23all that the Lord has commanded you by Moses, from the day that the Lord gave commandment, and onward throughout your generations, 24then if it was done unintentionally without the knowledge of the congregation, all the congregation shall offer one bull from the herd for a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma to the Lord, with its grain offering and its drink offering, according to the rule, and one male goat for a sin offering. 25And the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the people of Israel, and they shall be forgiven, because it was a mistake, and they have brought their offering, a food offering to the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord for their mistake. 26And all the congregation of the people of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger who sojourns among them, because the whole population was involved in the mistake.

27"If one person sins unintentionally, he shall offer a female goat a year old for a sin offering. 28And the priest shall make atonement before the Lord for the person who makes a mistake, when he sins unintentionally, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven. 29You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the people of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them. 30But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him."

A Sabbathbreaker Executed

32While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. 34They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. 35And the Lord said to Moses, "The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp." 36And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the Lord commanded Moses.

Tassels on Garments

37The Lord said to Moses, 38"Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. 39And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. 40So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. 41I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord your God."


Numbers 16

Korah's Rebellion

1Now Korah the son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men. 2And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men. 3They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, "You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?" 4When Moses heard it, he fell on his face, 5and he said to Korah and all his company, "In the morning the Lord will show who is his, and who is holy, and will bring him near to him. The one whom he chooses he will bring near to him. 6Do this: take censers, Korah and all his company; 7put fire in them and put incense on them before the Lord tomorrow, and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be the holy one. You have gone too far, sons of Levi!" 8And Moses said to Korah, "Hear now, you sons of Levi: 9is it too small a thing for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the Lord and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, 10and that he has brought you near him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? And would you seek the priesthood also? 11Therefore it is against the Lord that you and all your company have gathered together. What is Aaron that you grumble against him?"

12And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and they said, "We will not come up. 13Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us? 14Moreover, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up." 15And Moses was very angry and said to the Lord, "Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, and I have not harmed one of them."

16And Moses said to Korah, "Be present, you and all your company, before the Lord, you and they, and Aaron, tomorrow. 17And let every one of you take his censer and put incense on it, and every one of you bring before the Lord his censer, 250 censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer." 18So every man took his censer and put fire in them and laid incense on them and stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19Then Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation.

20And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 21"Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment." 22And they fell on their faces and said, "O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?" 23And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24"Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram."

25Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26And he spoke to the congregation, saying, "Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be swept away with all their sins." 27So they got away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, together with their wives, their sons, and their little ones. 28And Moses said, "Hereby you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been of my own accord. 29If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. 30But if the Lord creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised the Lord."

31And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. 32And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. 33So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. 34And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, "Lest the earth swallow us up!" 35And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men offering the incense.

36 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 37"Tell Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest to take up the censers out of the blaze. Then scatter the fire far and wide, for they have become holy. 38As for the censers of these men who have sinned at the cost of their lives, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar, for they offered them before the Lord, and they became holy. Thus they shall be a sign to the people of Israel." 39So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned had offered, and they were hammered out as a covering for the altar, 40to be a reminder to the people of Israel, so that no outsider, who is not of the descendants of Aaron, should draw near to burn incense before the Lord, lest he become like Korah and his company—as the Lord said to him through Moses.

41But on the next day all the congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, "You have killed the people of the Lord." 42And when the congregation had assembled against Moses and against Aaron, they turned toward the tent of meeting. And behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. 43And Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting, 44and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 45"Get away from the midst of this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment." And they fell on their faces. 46And Moses said to Aaron, "Take your censer, and put fire on it from off the altar and lay incense on it and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone out from the Lord; the plague has begun." 47So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped. 49Now those who died in the plague were 14,700, besides those who died in the affair of Korah. 50And Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting, when the plague was stopped.


Psalm 44

Come to Our Help

To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.


1 O God, we have heard with our ears,

our fathers have told us,

what deeds you performed in their days,

in the days of old:

2 you with your own hand drove out the nations,

but them you planted;

you afflicted the peoples,

but them you set free;

3 for not by their own sword did they win the land,

nor did their own arm save them,

but your right hand and your arm,

and the light of your face,

for you delighted in them.

4 You are my King, O God;

ordain salvation for Jacob!

5 Through you we push down our foes;

through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.

6 For not in my bow do I trust,

nor can my sword save me.

7 But you have saved us from our foes

and have put to shame those who hate us.

8 In God we have boasted continually,

and we will give thanks to your name forever.

Selah

9 But you have rejected us and disgraced us

and have not gone out with our armies.

10 You have made us turn back from the foe,

and those who hate us have gotten spoil.

11 You have made us like sheep for slaughter

and have scattered us among the nations.

12 You have sold your people for a trifle,

demanding no high price for them.

13 You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,

the derision and scorn of those around us.

14 You have made us a byword among the nations,

a laughingstock among the peoples.

15 All day long my disgrace is before me,

and shame has covered my face

16 at the sound of the taunter and reviler,

at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.

17 All this has come upon us,

though we have not forgotten you,

and we have not been false to your covenant.

18 Our heart has not turned back,

nor have our steps departed from your way;

19 yet you have broken us in the place of jackals

and covered us with the shadow of death.

20 If we had forgotten the name of our God

or spread out our hands to a foreign god,

21 would not God discover this?

For he knows the secrets of the heart.

22 Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.

23 Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?

Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!

24 Why do you hide your face?

Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?

25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust;

our belly clings to the ground.

26 Rise up; come to our help!

Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!