The Israelites are complaining again and want to go back to Egypt because the idea of gaining the promised land looks like a slim possibility at this point. Moses and Aaron beg and plead with the people to trust the Lord, and Joshua and Caleb go full drama llama and tear their clothes. However, the congregation was not buying their description of the land, their praise for the Lord, or their dramatics, and threatened to stone them. God threatened to stricken the Israelites and disinherit them and then make a greater nation for Moses. So, as far as I can tell, instead of reassuring the people, God just wanted to replace them with yes-men.
Moses pleaded with God and basically guilt-tripped him into not disinheriting the people. Then he reminds of some words he spoke, I guess, at some point (I seriously don’t remember if this was iterated at an earlier point.
18‘The LORD is slow to anger,Bibles, Harper . NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (p. 311). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
and abounding in steadfast love,
forgiving iniquity and transgression,
but by no means clearing the guilty,
visiting the iniquity of the parents
upon the children to the third and the fourth generation.’
Really? “Slow to anger”? Can we rewind to Genesis 6-8 when God had a conniption fit and destroyed every man, woman, child, infant, animal, tree, and plant except for eight people and a floating zoo. Maybe God should have sought out some behavioral therapy and not bottle up his feelings for so long. I guess we can safely assume that God is, in fact, a man. To be fair, the God of Numbers is probably not the same God as in Genesis.
Starting at verse 26, God has a tantrum and decides that this group of Israelites won’t make it to the land that was promised to them because they complained against him. So he can apparently do anything, like harden Pharoah’s heart, part the Red Sea, and appear as a whirlwind, but he gets his little feelings hurt when people complain? What a snowflake.
Anyway, the people over twenty who were told that they wouldn’t make it to the promised land attempted to make things right. It didn’t go well, of course. The people who currently inhabit the land that God wants to give to the Israelites showed up and killed them. So that’s that. Don’t trust anyone over twenty.