March 31: Numbers 14 | Proverbs 10 | Luke 23
Reading 1 - Numbers 13:31--14:4
"But the men who had gone up with him said, 'We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are.' And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, 'The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.' That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, 'If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert!' " (Num 13:31-14:1).
Spiritually, they did "die in Egypt", for they never completely left. Physically, they died in the wilderness, short of the Promised Land (Num 14:28,29) -- all that generation, except for Joshua and Caleb, perished before reaching the land God had promised to them.
" 'Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?' And they said to each other, 'We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt' " (Num 14:3,4).
Egypt was the symbol of sin and bondage (Joh 8:34; Rom 6:16; Tit 3:3; 2Pe 2:19). It had held their fathers in bondage, until death, and now although this generation was "free" of Egypt -- physically -- it still held their souls, their minds, and their hearts in bondage; and they would never really escape!