By: Ely Lagajino
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Hebrews 12: 5, 6 (ESV)
Passing through Edom country is the shortest way to the Promised Land. While the Israelites were in Kadesh territory, the water from the Rock stops flowing before they are able to fill all their containers. God intends to teach them to walk by faith, not always by feet. But the people complain causing the delay and prohibition of Moses and Aaron to enter the Promised Land. This delay gives the devil a chance to influence the King of Edom to deny their request.
Moses sends a second request with the promise to pay a toll fee to allow them to pass the King’s highway, but he denies the request.
God doesn’t allow Israel to use force. Edom or Esau, the brother of Israel, founded this country. To encircle towards the south is difficult but it’s the only available option. It will take them a month or more instead of a day’s journey.
After walking for several days, they build their camp and rest. The fatigued Israelites suffer hunger, and thirst walking through the dry desert, and they start to dwell on the dark side of their experiences.
They blame God and Moses; if only they allowed their fathers 37 years ago to conquer Canaan after the spies’ rebellion in Kadesh, this hardship would not have happened. Their complaints about lack of water and bread are fake news. No one dies of thirst and hunger for the thirty-eight years of their journey because God supplies them with manna and water every day, but they desire for bread and other food they used to eat and the lifestyle they were accustomed to in Egypt.
In their ingratitude and unbelief, God withdraws His protection. Hungry snakes attack their feet. Many of the Israelites are bitten by serpents, instantly killing them. The people now humble themselves to God and confess their sins.