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Numbers 14:22

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 21-23

Render: But as truly as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord; Numbers 14:22 all those men, etc.; Numbers 14:23 shall not see, etc.

Numbers 14:22

These ten times - Ten is the number which imports completeness. Compare Genesis 31:7. The sense is that the measure of their provocation was now full: the day of grace was at last over. However, some enumerate 10 different occasions on which the people had tempted God since the exodus.

Psalm 90, which is entitled “a Prayer of Moses,” has been most appropriately regarded as a kind of dirge upon those sentenced thus awfully by God to waste away in the wilderness.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The Lord granted the prayer of Moses so far as not at once to destroy the congregation. But disbelief of the promise forbids the benefit. Those who despise the pleasant land shall be shut out of it. The promise of God should be fulfilled to their children. They wished to die in the wilderness; God made their sin their ruin, took them at their word, and their carcases fell in the wilderness. They were made to groan under the burden of their own sin, which was too heavy for them to bear. Ye shall know my breach of promise, both the causes of it, that it is procured by your sin, for God never leaves any till they first leave him; and the consequences of it, that will produce your ruin. But your little ones, now under twenty years old, which ye, in your unbelief, said should be a prey, them will I bring in. God will let them know that he can put a difference between the guilty and the innocent, and cut them off without touching their children. Thus God would not utterly take away his loving kindness.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 126

But faith is in no sense allied to presumption. Only he who has true faith is secure against presumption. For presumption is Satan's counterfeit of faith. Faith claims God's promises, and brings forth fruit in obedience. Presumption also claims the promises, but uses them as Satan did, to excuse transgression. Faith would have led our first parents to trust the love of God, and to obey His commands. Presumption led them to transgress His law, believing that His great love would save them from the consequence of their sin. It is not faith that claims the favor of Heaven without complying with the conditions on which mercy is to be granted. Genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the Scriptures. DA 126.1

Often when Satan has failed of exciting distrust, he succeeds in leading us to presumption. If he can cause us to place ourselves unnecessarily in the way of temptation, he knows that the victory is his. God will preserve all who walk in the path of obedience; but to depart from it is to venture on Satan's ground. There we are sure to fall. The Saviour has bidden us, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Mark 14:38. Meditation and prayer would keep us from rushing unbidden into the way of danger, and thus we should be saved from many a defeat. DA 126.2

Yet we should not lose courage when assailed by temptation. Often when placed in a trying situation we doubt that the Spirit of God has been leading us. But it was the Spirit's leading that brought Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. When God brings us into trial, He has a purpose to accomplish for our good. Jesus did not presume on God's promises by going unbidden into temptation, neither did He give up to despondency when temptation came upon Him. Nor should we. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” He says, “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: and call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.” 1 Corinthians 10:13; Psalm 50:14, 15. DA 126.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 369

There is the highest reason for us to prize the true Sabbath and stand in its defense, for it is the sign which distinguishes the people of God from the world. The commandment that the world makes void is the one to which, for this very reason, God's people will give greater honor. It is when the unbelieving cast contempt upon the Word of God that the faithful Calebs are called for. It is then that they will stand firm at the post of duty, without parade, and without swerving because of reproach. The unbelieving spies stood ready to destroy Caleb. He saw the stones in the hands of those who had brought a false report, but this did not deter him; he had a message, and he would bear it. The same spirit will be manifested today by those who are true to God. 2SM 369.1

The psalmist says, “They have made void Thy law. Therefore I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold” (Psalm 119:126, 127). When men press close to the side of Jesus, when Christ is abiding in their hearts by faith, their love for the commandments of God grows stronger in proportion to the contempt which the world heaps upon His holy precepts. It is at this time that the true Sabbath must be brought before the people by both pen and voice. As the fourth commandment and those who observe it are ignored and despised, the faithful feel that it is the time not to hide their faith but to exalt the law of Jehovah by unfurling the banner on which is inscribed the message of the third angel, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 2SM 369.2

Let not those who have the truth as it is in Jesus give sanction, even by their silence, to the work of the mystery of iniquity. Let them never cease to sound the note of alarm. Let the education and training of the members of our churches be such that the children and youth among us shall understand there are to be no concessions to this power, the man of sin. Teach them that although the time will come when we can wage the war only at the risk of property and liberty, yet the conflict must be met, in the spirit and meekness of Christ; the truth is to be maintained and advocated as it is in Jesus. Wealth, honor, comfort, home—everything else—is to be a secondary consideration. The truth must not be hid, it must not be denied or disguised, but fully avowed, and boldly proclaimed. 2SM 369.3

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Ellen G. White
The Story of Redemption, 158-63

The Lord commanded Moses to send men to search the land of Canaan, which He would give unto the children of Israel. A ruler of each tribe was to be selected for this purpose. They went and, after forty days, returned from their search, and came before Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of Israel, and showed them the fruit of the land. All agreed that it was a good land, and they exhibited the rich fruit which they had brought as evidence. One cluster of grapes was so large that two men carried it between them on a staff. They also brought of the figs and the pomegranates, which grew there in abundance. SR 158.1

After they had spoken of the fertility of the land, all but two spoke very discouragingly of their being able to possess it. They said that the people were very strong that dwelt in the land, and the cities were surrounded with great and high walls; and, more than all this, they saw the children of the giant Anak there. They then described how the people were situated around Canaan, and the impossibility of their ever being able to possess it. SR 158.2

As the people listened to this report they gave vent to their disappointment with bitter reproaches and wailing. They did not wait and reflect and reason that God, who had brought them out thus far, would certainly give them the land. But they yielded to discouragement at once. They limited the power of the Holy One and trusted not in God, who had hitherto led them. They reproached Moses and murmuringly said to one another, This, then, is the end of all our hopes. This is the land that we have been traveling from Egypt to obtain. SR 158.3

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 22-7

As the people listened to this report they gave vent to their disappointment with bitter reproaches and wailing. They did not wait, and reflect, and reason, that God, who had brought them out thus far, would certainly give them the land. But they yielded to discouragement at once. They limited the power of the Holy One, and trusted not in God, who had hitherto led them. They reproached Moses, and murmuringly said to one another, This, then, is the end of all our hopes. This is the land that we have been traveling from Egypt to obtain. Caleb and Joshua sought to obtain a hearing. But the people were so excited they could not command themselves to listen to these two men. After they were calmed a little, Caleb ventured to speak. He said to the people, “Let us go up at once, and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it.” But the men that went up with him said, “We be not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they continued to repeat their evil report, and declared that all the men were of great stature. “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants. And we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron. And the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God that we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? Were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.” 4aSG 22.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 377-8

“And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.” The men who have so long borne with the perversity of Israel know too well what the next scene will be. Revolt and open mutiny quickly follow; for Satan has had full sway, and the people seem bereft of reason. They curse Moses and Aaron, forgetting that God hears their wicked speeches, and that, enshrouded in the cloudy pillar, the Angel of His presence is witnessing their terrible outburst of wrath. In bitterness they cry out: “Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? Were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” 5T 377.1

In humiliation and distress, Moses and Aaron fall on “their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel,” not knowing what to do to turn them from their rash and passionate purpose. Caleb and Joshua attempt to quiet the tumult. With their garments rent in token of grief and indignation, they rush in among the people, and their ringing voices are heard above the tempest of lamentation and rebellious grief: “The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.” 5T 377.2

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