Moses began speaking to the sons of Israel, across the Jordan in the land of Moab, expressing the law that had been given to him by the Lord their God. At Horeb, the Lord commandment that they, the sons of Israel take possession of the land of the Canaanites. At Horeb, Moses commanded that the Sons of Israel to choose elders from their tribes as their leaders. These men were made judges to hear the cases brought before them, only the difficult cases were brought before Moses. From Horeb they journeyed to the hill country of the Amorites and the Lord God commanded that they not fear or be dismayed but take possession of the land. By the request of the people, Moses had appointed one man from each tribe to spy out the land; which they reported was a good land. However, the sons of Israel feared the people of the land more than they trusted the Word of the Lord their God to deliver them. The Lord God took an oath, saying, Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers, not even Moses, except Caleb and Joshua who did not rebel. Having heard the Lord’s oath, the people wanted to repent but it was to late, the Lord’s decision had already been made.
The apostle Paul said on Mars Hill in Athens, “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, He (God) has fixed a day in which he (God) will judge the world in righteousness through a Man (Jesus) whom he (God) has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising him (Jesus) from the dead.” (Acts 17:30b, 31) The sons of Israel had been given proof of God’s loyal love and truth. All they need do is demonstrate their trust in him but they had demonstrated that they did not trust the Lord; therefore, that entire generation was condemned. They spent forty years wondering in the wilderness and they died. God has overlooked the ignorance of our past but he has fixed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness through Jesus Christ; therefore, we should have repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ before it is to late. At Horeb, the Lord their God gave them a covenant to keep. A covenant relationship requires three things: loyal love, obedience and trust. The sons of Israel that proceeded were not loyal to the Lord, they were disobedient and did not trust him. Moses is giving his speech to a new generation of Israelites, will they they serve the Lord or rebel like the previous generation?