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An account of the wanderings of the people in the wilderness was written by Moses at the express command of God. It appears as a bare and uninteresting list of names and yet it tells the story of a people guided by God through discipline. In the course of it there are occasional glimpses of light, revelations of varying experiences but of unvarying guidance. Through shadow and through sunshine, through trial and through triumph, by ways that were gracious, they were led with unceasing faithfulness by God.
Thus we are taught that even though He chastise, He continues to conduct and when through our own unbelief we have to pass through the paths of the wilderness He never forsakes us.
This account is followed by a record of the solemn charge to the people in view of their approaching possession of the land. They were to enter by divine appointment and the purpose of which was to be a manifestation of God and of the perfection of His government. Therefore, when they entered the land, every trace of false worship was to be swept away wherever it was found. Moreover, the land was to be divided equitably among them.
The charge was accompanied by warnings uttered in simple terms and yet most solemn and searching. To tolerate and allow to remain what God had ordered to be driven forth would be to retain that which in itself would be a source of continual difficulty and suffering. The most solemn word of all was the last uttered. "And it shall come to pass, that, as I thought to do unto them, so will I do unto YOU." In these words is revealed an abiding principle, that God's election to blessing is never of persons without reference to conduct, but rather of character which expresses itself in obedience to His will.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Numbers 33". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent