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For forty years Moses led a nation of stiff-necked complaining rebels!

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Joshua, boot camp is over.
part one

For forty years Moses led a nation of stiff-necked complaining rebels. Now his time was ending.

Forty years ago, the pharaoh of Egypt had released the Israelite nation from slavery, but only after refusing over and over to do so, and after God sent ten dreadful plagues upon the Egyptians.

Then freedom came, and the Israelites joyfully left for their Promised Land, which was about 240 miles away. The trip, even with an estimated 1.5 to 2.5 million people, could have taken three months.

When the Israelites reached the River Jordan by the Promised Land, twelve spies were sent into the land to bring back detailed reports about the enemy’s strength and the conditions in the land.

When they returned, ten of the spies said, “The land is magnificent, but the people are strong, and their cities are fortified and very large. They will defeat us.” The two other spies, Caleb and Joshua declared, “It is a wonderful land! We can conquer it; for God is with us. Do not be afraid!”

The people cried, “It would be better to be slaves in Egypt than to be killed in enemy territory.” They ignored the miracles and extraordinary signs God had shown them in Egypt and on their journey. A pillar of fire had guided them each night and a pillar of cloud had guided them each day.

The people shouted, “Stone Caleb and Joshua.”

God announced, “I am through with these rebels. I will destroy them.” Moses asked for mercy and God gave it, but there would be consequences. Every Israelite over twenty years of age would die before the Israelites entered the Promised Land. That consumed forty years.

Now the Jews were again where they could cross the River Jordan and go into their Promised Land. Only Caleb, Joshua, and Moses remained of the old generation.

Moses commanded his people to gather. They made a gigantic crowd as he reminded them of the miraculous plagues that God had sent against Pharaoh and the Egyptians. He reminded them also of the enemy nations they had passed through as they stumbled through the deserts for 40 years. These nations worshipped idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold. The Israelites were to worship the one true God, not found in any statue.

Moses challenged his people, “Listen! Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! Choose to love the Lord your God and to obey him and commit yourself to him, for he is your life. Then you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

He was nearly finished when he said, “I am 120 years old.”

Joshua, his assistant, spoke softly, “How can Moses be that old? His body is strong. His eyesight is excellent. He has led a nation of grumblers through the deserts on the Sinai Peninsula.”

Moses continued, “God has told me that I am not to cross the Jordan River with you. Joshua is your new leader.”

Moses stared at the Israelites, his people. Would they be as stubborn as their parents?

This is Barbara Steiner with an old story as new as this year. Part two comes soon.

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