Restoration Through Moses  – Part 2

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When Moses, who was not eloquent, asked God for someone to speak on his behalf, God provided Moses’ older brother Aaron,65(Exod. 4:14)CEV|KJ|NI and also Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister.66(Exod. 15:20)CEV|KJ|NI This symbolically foreshadowed that Jesus and his would-be Bride, the incarnations of the Word,67(John 1:14)CEV|KJ|NI would come and restore human beings – who had lost the Word at the Fall – as the incarnations of the Word. In the course to restore Canaan, Aaron and Miriam were given the mission to uphold the will of Moses, who was in the position of God, and to exercise leadership on his behalf. In the future, Jesus and the Holy Spirit would uphold the Will of God in the worldwide course to restore Canaan and take on the mission to redeem our sin.

At God’s command, Moses went to meet the Pharaoh. On his way, the Lord appeared before him and tried to kill him. Moses’ life was saved when his wife Zipporah circumcised their son.68(Exod. 4:24-26)CEV|KJ|NI She helped Moses overcome the trial and saved their family. This circumcision made it possible for the Israelites to be liberated from Egypt. It foreshadowed that even when Jesus came, God’s work of salvation could not be accomplished unless the people underwent an internal circumcision.

Let us examine the deeper significance of circumcision. When the first human ancestors fell through a sexual relationship with Satan, they inherited the blood of death through the male sexual organ. In the course for fallen people to be restored as God’s children, God established the rite of circumcision as a condition of indemnity: cutting the foreskin of the male sexual organ and letting blood flow from it. Circumcision signifies removing the blood of death. Circumcision is also a sign of the restoration of man’s right of dominion and a sign of promise that God will restore people as His true children. There are three types of circumcision: circumcision of the heart,69(Deut. 10:16)CEV|KJ|NI circumcision of the foreskin,70(Gen. 17:10)CEV|KJ|NI and circumcision of all things.71(Lev. 19:22-23)CEV|KJ|NI

Through the ten plagues, God had Moses liberate the Israelites from Egypt.72(Exod. 7:14-12:36)CEV|KJ|NIThis, too, foreshadowed that in the future Jesus would come with miracles and signs to save God’s chosen people. When Jacob was suffering twenty-one years of hardship in Haran, Laban cheated Jacob ten times and did not give him his due wages.73(Gen. 31:7)CEV|KJ|NI Likewise, in Moses’ course, which was patterned after Jacob’s course, the Pharaoh not only continued to afflict the Israelites beyond the preordained time period, he also deceived them ten times with the false promise that he would release them. As recompense for this, God was entitled to strike the Pharaoh with the ten plagues. Among them, the ninth and tenth plagues had particular significance.

For the ninth plague, God blanketed Egypt in thick darkness for three days, while in the places where the Israelites dwelt there was light.74(Exod. 10:21-23)CEV|KJ|NI This foreshadowed that when Jesus came, darkness would blanket Satan’s realm while light would shine upon God’s people, and the two sides would be separated. For the tenth plague, God killed all the firstborn among the Egyptians and their cattle, while instructing the Israelites to paint lamb’s blood on the lintel and door posts of their houses so that the angel of death would pass over them. The firstborn of the Egyptians, on the satanic side, were in the position of Cain. God struck them in order to restore the Israelites, in the position of the second son Abel, to the position of the eldest son. Satan had seized the position of the eldest son and thus took the lead in the course of history, leaving God in pursuit.75(cf. Parallels 7) This plague foreshadowed that at Jesus’ coming, the side of Satan would perish, while God’s side, in the position of the second son, would be saved by the redemption of Jesus’ blood. Moses brought abundant wealth out of Egypt.76(Exod. 12:35-36)CEV|KJ|NI This foreshadowed the restoration of all things, to take place at Jesus’ coming.

After each plague, God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart.77(Exod. 4:21)CEV|KJ|NI; (Exod. 10:27)CEV|KJ|NIThere were several reasons for this. First, by repeatedly manifesting His powers, God wanted to show the Israelites that He was God.78(Exod. 10:1-2)CEV|KJ|NI Second, God wanted the Pharaoh to make his best efforts in holding on to the Israelites before forcing him to give them up; then the Pharaoh would realize how powerless he was and abandon any lingering attachment to the Israelites after they left. Third, God wanted the Israelites to cut off their attachment to Egypt by provoking in them strong feelings of hostility against the Pharaoh.

God worked the dispensation to start the first national course to restore Canaan when Moses killed the Egyptian. However, this course was aborted when the people distrusted Moses. In the dispensation to start the second national course, God granted the Israelites the three signs and ten plagues. When the Israelites witnessed these miracles, they came to believe that Moses was truly sent by God as their leader. They believed and followed Moses, the Abel figure who had laid the national foundation of faith. Hence, the Israelites could embark upon the second national course to restore Canaan.

However, the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature required more of the Israelites than a short-lived trust in and obedience to Moses while he was working these miracles. Due to their previous failure to fulfill this condition, Satan had claimed the entire providential course to restore Canaan. Now the Israelites had to restore that course by remaining faithful and obedient to Moses for the duration of their journey. Only in this way would they fulfill the national indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature. Until they had traversed the wilderness with unwavering faith in Moses and entered the land of Canaan, the national foundation of substance would not be established.

The dispensation to start the second national course to restore Canaan was conducted with greater grace than that of the first course. Yet, since the prolongation had been due to their disbelief, the indemnity condition which the Israelites would have to fulfill was correspondingly heavier. In the first course, if the Israelites had followed Moses, they would have been led along the direct route by way of the land of the Philistines and would have entered Canaan in twenty-one days – a period corresponding to Jacob’s twenty-one-year course in Haran. However, in the second course, God did not lead the people along the direct route. He was worried that when they encountered the warlike Philistines, they might again turn faithless and return to Egypt.79(Exod. 13:17)CEV|KJ|NI Instead, God led them across the Red Sea and through the wilderness in a long detour. God planned to bring them into Canaan after twenty-one months.

Thus, the Israelites began a twenty-one-month wilderness course under Moses’ leadership. Let us study this course and examine how it served as the model course for Jesus to lead humanity on the worldwide course to restore Canaan.

When the Pharaoh grudgingly gave Moses permission for the Israelites to make sacrifices in Egypt, Moses demanded more, saying:

It would not be right to do so; for we shall sacrifice to the Lord our God offerings abominable to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? We must go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as he will command us. –Exod. 8:26-27CEV|KJ|NI

Moses asked for three days’ leave with the intention to deceive the Pharaoh and lead the people out of Egypt altogether.

This three-day period had the same significance as Abraham’s three-day journey to Mt. Moriah, which he needed in order to sever his ties to Satan before he could offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Since Abraham’s time, this has been the indemnity period required for the separation of Satan at the outset of a providential course. When Jacob embarked upon the course to restore Canaan, there was a three-day period when he cut off ties to Satan by deceiving Laban and leaving Haran.80(Gen. 31:19-22)CEV|KJ|NI Likewise, at the outset of this national course, Moses asked for a leave of three days with the intention of deceiving the Pharaoh and liberating his people from bondage. Jesus, too, would begin the spiritual course of restoration only after passing through three days for the separation of Satan before his victorious resurrection.

The Israelites, who numbered some 600,000 according to the Bible, departed from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month by the Hebrew calendar.81(Exod. 12:37)CEV|KJ|NI; (Num. 33:3)CEV|KJ|NIThey upheld God’s Will throughout the three-day journey to their first campsite at Succoth. From that time forth, God granted them the grace of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide their way.82(Exod. 13:21)CEV|KJ|NI The pillar of cloud which led the Israelites by day (yang) symbolized Jesus, who would one day lead the people of Israel in the worldwide course to restore Canaan. The pillar of fire by night (yin) symbolized the Holy Spirit, who would guide them as the feminine Spirit.

At the shore of the Red Sea, upon God’s command, Moses stretched out his staff and parted the waters; then he led the Israelites across on dry ground. The Egyptians chasing them in chariots were drowned when the waters closed up and engulfed them.83(Exod. 14:21-28)CEV|KJ|NI As was explained earlier, Moses represented God before the Pharaoh,84(Exod. 7:1)CEV|KJ|NI and Moses’ staff symbolized Jesus, who would manifest God’s power in the future. Hence, this miracle foreshadowed what was to happen when Jesus came. Satan would pursue the faithful ones who followed Jesus in walking the worldwide course to restore Canaan, but Jesus would raise the rod of iron85 and strike the troubled sea86 of this world. The waters would divide and reveal a smooth path upon which the believers would walk, while Satan in pursuit would perish.

The Israelites crossed the Red Sea and arrived at the wilderness of Sin on the fifteenth day of the second month. From then until the day they arrived at habitable land, God fed them with manna and quail.87(Exod. 16:13-35)CEV|KJ|NI The manna and quail signified the life-giving flesh and blood of Jesus, which God would provide during the worldwide course to restore Canaan. Thus, Jesus said:

Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. . . . I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever . . . unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. –John 6:49-53CEV|KJ|NI

When the Israelites left the wilderness of Sin and camped at Rephidim, there was no water for the people to drink. God commanded Moses to strike the rock at Horeb that water might spring forth from it. Moses did so and gave the people water which saved their lives.88(Exod. 17:6)CEV|KJ|NI St. Paul wrote, “The Rock was Christ.”89(I Cor. 10:4)CEV|KJ|NI Accordingly, the miracle of water from the rock foreshadowed that the Messiah would save all humanity with the water of life, of which Jesus said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.”90(John 4:14)CEV|KJ|NI The two tablets of stone Moses received on Mt. Sinai symbolized Jesus and his would-be Bride; the rock, which was the root of the tablets of stone, symbolized God. When Moses struck the rock and gave the people water, this laid the foundation upon which Moses could receive the tablets of stone and build the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle.

Joshua fought with the Amalekites at Rephidim. Whenever Moses held up his hands, the Israelites prevailed; whenever Moses let his hands drop, they suffered a reverse. Aaron and Hur had Moses sit on a pile of stones and held his hands up on the left and the right, thus enabling Joshua to vanquish the king of the Amalekites and his troops.91(Exod. 17:10-13)CEV|KJ|NI This also foreshadowed what would happen when Jesus came. Joshua symbolized the believers, the Amalekites symbolized the satanic world, and Aaron and Hur symbolized Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ hands and enabling Joshua to vanquish the Amalekites foreshadowed that faithful people who worship the Trinity – God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit – will defeat every devil who confronts them. The Providence of Restoration and the Tabernacle

The Israelites received the tablets of stone, the Tabernacle, and the Ark of the Covenant. Let us first examine how they received them. The Israelites arrived in the wilderness of Sinai at the beginning of the third month, after their victory over the Amalekites.92(Exod. 19:1)CEV|KJ|NI Moses then took seventy elders and climbed Mt. Sinai to meet God. Moses alone was called to the summit of Mt. Sinai, where God commanded him to fast for forty days to receive the Ten Commandments inscribed on the tablets of stone.93(Exod. 24:9-10, 18)CEV|KJ|NI During his fast, Moses received God’s instructions concerning the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle.94(Exod. 25-31)CEV|KJ|NI When the forty-day fast was over, Moses received two tablets of stone, inscribed by the finger of God with the Ten Commandments.95(Exod. 31:18)CEV|KJ|NI

When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the two tablets of stone and went before the Israelites, he found them worshipping a golden calf. During Moses’ absence, they had instructed Aaron to make it, and when he had fashioned it, they proclaimed that this was the god who had led them out of Egypt. Moses’ anger burned hot when he saw this. He threw down the tablets of stone and broke them at the foot of the mountain.96(Exod. 32:1-19)CEV|KJ|NI God appeared again to Moses and told him to carve another pair of stone tablets identical to the first pair, promising that He would inscribe the Ten Commandments on them again. Moses presented himself before God on the mountain and fasted for forty days a second time. God dictated the Ten Commandments to Moses, and Moses wrote them on the tablets.97(Exod. 34:1, 27-28)CEV|KJ|NI Moses took these tablets and went before the Israelites again. This time they honored Moses. In obedience to his directions, they built the Ark of the Covenant and constructed the Tabernacle.98(Exod. 35-40)CEV|KJ|NI The Significance and Purpose of the Tablets of Stone,
the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant

What did the tablets of stone signify? When Moses received the tablets of stone inscribed with God’s Word, this signified the passing of the Age of the Providence to Lay the Foundation for Restoration, when fallen people could relate with God only through sacrifices, and the beginning of the Age of the Providence of Restoration, when they could relate with God through the revealed Word. It was previously explained that if Adam and Eve, who were created by the Word, had become perfect, they would have become the incarnations of the Word. Instead, they fell and lost the Word.99(cf. Restoration 1.2.1) Moses received the two tablets inscribed with the Word at the end of a forty-day period for the separation of Satan. This signified the symbolic restoration of Adam and Eve as incarnations of the Word. Accordingly, the two tablets symbolized restored Adam and Eve, and also symbolized Jesus and his would-be Bride who were to come as the incarnations of the Word. Christ is symbolized in the Bible by a white stone,100(Rev. 2:17)CEV|KJ|NI and it is written, “the Rock was Christ.”101(I Cor. 10:4)CEV|KJ|NI As symbols of Jesus and his would-be Bride, the tablets of stone were also symbols of heaven and earth.

Next, what did the Tabernacle symbolize? Jesus likened his body to the Temple in Jerusalem.102(John 2:19-21CEV|KJ|NI We who believe in him are called God’s temples.103(I Cor. 3:16)CEV|KJ|NI The Temple was thus a representation of Jesus in image. If the Israelites had succeeded in the first course to restore Canaan under Moses’ leadership, then as soon as they entered the land of Canaan they would have built the Temple and prepared to receive the Messiah. Yet due to their disbelief, the first course was aborted at the start. In the second course, God led them in a roundabout way across the Red Sea and through the wilderness. God could not have them build the Temple, but instead had to settle for the Tabernacle, which could be moved from place to place, as its substitute. Like the Temple, the Tabernacle was a representation of Jesus, but in symbol. When God commanded Moses to build the Tabernacle, He said, “And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.”104(Exod. 25:8)CEV|KJ|NI

The Tabernacle was divided into two parts: the holy place (sanctuary) and the most holy place (holy of holies). Only the high priest could enter the most holy place, and only once a year when making the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement. The most holy place was where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. Here was the place where God made Himself present. It symbolized the spirit of Jesus. The holy place contained a lampstand, an incense altar and a table for the bread of the Presence, which were tended daily by the priests. It symbolized the body of Jesus. Furthermore, the most holy place symbolized the spiritual world, while the holy place symbolized the physical world. When Jesus was crucified, the curtain between the holy place and the most holy place was torn in two, from top to bottom.105(Matt. 27:51)CEV|KJ|NI This meant that Jesus’ crucifixion laid the basis for spiritual salvation, when the gate was opened between spirit and flesh, or between heaven and earth.

What did the Ark of the Covenant symbolize? Enshrined in the most holy place, the Ark contained the testimonies to God’s covenant. It contained the two tablets of stone, which symbolized Jesus and his would-be Bride and heaven and earth. It also contained manna, the main staple of the Israelites during the wilderness course, which symbolized the body of Jesus. The manna was placed inside a golden urn, which symbolized the glory of God. The Ark of the Covenant also contained Aaron’s staff, which had demonstrated God’s power by budding and putting forth sprouts.106(Heb. 9:4)CEV|KJ|NI The Ark thus represented the cosmos and, at the same time, was a smaller representation of the Tabernacle.

The mercy seat was placed on top of the Ark of the Covenant. Two cherubim made of hammered gold were placed on either end of the mercy seat, overshadowing it with their wings. God promised that He would personally appear above the mercy seat, between the cherubim, and there He would give guidance to the Israelites.107(Exod. 25:17-22)CEV|KJ|NI This foreshadowed that when Jesus and his Bride, symbolized by the tablets of stone, come and cleanse the people’s sins, God would appear over the mercy seat and open a path between the cherubim which had blocked the way to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden.108(Gen. 3:24)CEV|KJ|NI Everyone would then be able to come before Jesus, the tree of life, and receive the fullness of God’s Word.

For what purpose did God give the tablets of stone, the Tabernacle, and the Ark of the Covenant? When the Israelites set out for the wilderness after completing the four-hundred-year indemnity period incurred due to Abraham’s mistake in the offering, God struck the Egyptians with signs and plagues and drowned a host of Egyptian soldiers who tried to follow the Israelites across the Red Sea. The Israelites could not return to Egypt, not only because God’s Will forbade it, but because they had become bitter enemies of the Egyptians. They had no choice but to complete the journey to Canaan; God had driven them to the point of no return. Nevertheless, the Israelites repeatedly fell into faithlessness during their journey. In the end, there was danger that even Moses might act faithlessly. To cope with this situation, God set up an object of faith, one which would remain unchanged even though the people might change. As long as even one person revered the object with absolute faith, God could continue the providential Will through him. That person would inherit the mission to attend the object of faith, as a baton is handed from one runner to the next in a relay race.

The Tabernacle, enshrining the Ark of the Covenant and the tablets of stone, was this object of faith. Since the Tabernacle represented the Messiah, when the Israelites built the Tabernacle, it signified that the Messiah had already come in a symbolic sense.

The Israelites were to revere and honor the Tabernacle as if it were the Messiah and to return to the blessed land of Canaan under Moses’ leadership. Thus, they would establish the national foundation of substance. Even if all the Israelites were to fall into faithlessness along the way, as long as Moses continued to exalt the Tabernacle, the people would then be allowed to indemnify their faithlessness and be restored upon Moses’ intact foundation. Furthermore, if even Moses were to become faithless, as long as any single Israelite exalted the Tabernacle in Moses’ place, God could work through that person to restore all the people.

If the Israelites had trusted Moses and entered Canaan in the first national course, Moses’ family would have served in the role of the Tabernacle, and Moses himself would have fulfilled the roles which were taken by the tablets of stone and the Ark of the Covenant. Moses’ family would have become the bearer of the heavenly law. The Israelites could then have built the Temple in the land of Canaan without any need for the tablets, the Ark, or the Tabernacle. These were given as the means of salvation only after the people had become faithless. The Tabernacle, as the representation in symbol of Jesus and his would-be Bride, was needed only until the construction of the Temple. The Temple, as the representation in image of Jesus and his would-be Bride, was needed only until the Messiah’s coming as the Temple incarnate. The Foundation for the Tabernacle

Just as a foundation must be laid before we can receive the Messiah, a foundation had to be laid before the Israelites could build and exalt the Tabernacle, the symbolic representation of the Messiah. Needless to say, to establish the foundation for the Tabernacle, foundations of faith and substance for the Tabernacle had to be laid. Let us investigate how the Israelites were to lay these two foundations under the leadership of Moses.

Moses was to follow God’s instructions and lay the foundation of faith for the Tabernacle by fasting and praying for forty days, a period for the separation of Satan. Upon this foundation of faith for the Tabernacle, the Israelites were to faithfully obey and support Moses as he worked to realize the ideal of the Tabernacle. They would thus fulfill the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature and lay the foundation of substance for the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle in this discussion includes the tablets of stone and the Ark of the Covenant.

The First Foundation for the Tabernacle

Human beings were created on the sixth day to become the incarnations of the Word.109(John 1:3)CEV|KJ|NI Hence, to give the Word of re-creation to fallen people for their restoration, God first had to restore the number six, representing the period of creation defiled by Satan. For this reason, God sanctified Mt. Sinai by covering it with clouds of glory for six days, and on the seventh day He appeared and called Moses from amidst the clouds. From that moment, Moses began his fast of forty days and forty nights.110(Exod. 24:16-18)CEV|KJ|NI God directed Moses to set up a forty-day period for the separation of Satan in order to establish the foundation of faith for the Tabernacle, the symbolic Messiah. God saw that this was necessary because the Israelites had fallen into faithlessness after crossing the Red Sea.111(Exod. 16:1-12)CEV|KJ|NI; (Exod. 17:2-4)CEV|KJ|NI

As mentioned above, the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature during the Israelites’ course to restore Canaan could not be fulfilled by their believing and following Moses only for the short time that he manifested God’s power. Rather, its fulfillment required that the people maintain such faith and obedience until they entered Canaan, built the Temple, and received the Messiah. Likewise, to fulfill the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature and lay the foundation of substance for the Tabernacle, the Israelites should have faithfully obeyed Moses from the moment he climbed the mountain to undertake the forty-day fast until they had finished constructing the Tabernacle. However, while Moses was fasting and praying on the mountain, the people all fell into faithlessness and worshipped the golden calf. Consequently, the foundation of substance for the Tabernacle was not established.

Since human beings themselves had lost the basis for the Word, it is their portion of responsibility to recover the basis upon which to receive it again. Hence, God does not intervene in people’s actions when they are working to restore the Word. For this reason, although God had led the Israelites with signs and miracles, He did not intervene when they sinned.

When Moses saw the people worshipping the idol and dancing around it, he raged in anger. He threw down the tablets and shattered them.112(Exod. 32:19)CEV|KJ|NI As a result, Satan invaded the foundation of faith for the Tabernacle. As was explained above, the two tablets of stone symbolized Jesus and his would-be Bride, who were to come as the restored second Adam and Eve. This event foreshadowed that if Jesus came and found the Jewish people faithless, he might have to die on the cross without completing his original God-given mission with his would-be Bride.

The faithlessness of the Israelites at Mt. Sinai undermined God’s providence to establish the foundation for the Tabernacle. It nullified God’s arduous efforts to separate Satan from the people and cultivate their obedience to Moses. Due to their continued faithlessness, God’s providence to establish the foundation for the Tabernacle had to be prolonged through a second and then a third attempt.

The Second Foundation for the Tabernacle

The Israelites proved faithless in the dispensation to receive the tablets of stone, and hence to build the Tabernacle, but because they stood on the foundation of having drunk the water from the rock at Rephidim – the symbolic root of the tablets – they were given a second chance. God appeared before Moses after he had broken the tablets and promised him another inscription of His Word. This time, God required that Moses himself carve the blank tablets upon which He would write the inscription. Furthermore, Moses could not restore the tablets of stone or build the Tabernacle around them without first restoring the foundation of faith for the Tabernacle by fulfilling once again a dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan. Therefore, Moses had to fast forty more days before he could obtain the second pair of tablets with the inscription of the Ten Commandments113(Exod. 34:28)CEV|KJ|NI and establish the Tabernacle as the object of faith. This time, the Israelites faithfully waited for Moses to return.

Moses’ successful efforts to restore the broken tablets by forty days of fasting, and the Israelites’ faith in him, foreshadowed that Jesus, though crucified, could return and make a new beginning in his work of salvation if the believers devotedly fulfilled the indemnity condition to receive him during the forty days of the Lord’s resurrection – a dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan.

By remaining faithful while Moses was fasting on the mountain, and then obeying his instructions to build the Tabernacle, the Israelites fulfilled the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature. This laid the foundation of substance for the Tabernacle, and hence the foundation for the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was built by the first day of the first month of the second year.114(Exod. 40:17)CEV|KJ|NI However, as was mentioned earlier, the foundation of substance in the second national course to restore Canaan required much more than the mere construction of the Tabernacle. In fact, until they entered Canaan and built the Temple, the Israelites were supposed to honor the Tabernacle more than they valued their own lives; they were to keep the same faith until they received the Messiah.

On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the Israelites set out from the wilderness of Sinai, arrayed in formation around the Tabernacle and led by the pillar of cloud.115(Num. 10:11-12)CEV|KJ|NI Yet before long, they began to complain about their hardships and murmur against Moses. Even after God destroyed their camp in His burning wrath, the Israelites did not repent. They continued to complain, lamenting that they had nothing to eat but manna. They were resentful toward Moses and longed for the meat, fruit, vegetables and luxuries of Egypt.116(Num. 11:1-6)CEV|KJ|NI Thus, the Israelites failed to maintain the second foundation for the Tabernacle, and it was invaded by Satan. The providence to restore this foundation was prolonged to a third attempt.

The Third Foundation for the Tabernacle

Although Satan defiled the second foundation for the Tabernacle, Moses’ faith and devotion to the Tabernacle remained unchanging. Therefore, the Tabernacle stood firmly upon the foundation of faith which Moses had laid, while the Israelites still stood upon the foundation of having drunk the water from the rock at Rephidim.117(Exod. 17:6)CEV|KJ|NI The rock, we recall, was the root of the tablets of stone, which was at the center of the Tabernacle. Upon this foundation, the Israelites were allowed to attempt yet another dispensation of forty for the separation of Satan. By obeying Moses, who still honored the Tabernacle, they were to restore through indemnity the foundation for the Tabernacle in their third attempt. The forty-day mission to spy out the land of Canaan was given as the condition to achieve this.

God had Moses choose a leader from each of the twelve tribes of Israel and send them to spy out the land of Canaan for forty days.118(Num. 13:1, 25)CEV|KJ|NI When they returned, all the spies except Joshua and Caleb presented faithless reports:

The people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large . . . [it] is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature . . . and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them. –Num. 13:28, 32-33CEV|KJ|NI

They concluded that the Israelites could not capture Canaan’s fortified cities or defeat its people. Upon hearing this report, the Israelites again murmured against Moses. They called for another leader who would take them back to Egypt. Only Joshua and Caleb called for the people not to be afraid but to attack the Canaanites in obedience to God’s command:

Do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us; their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them. –Num. 14:9CEV|KJ|NI

The Israelites did not accept this exhortation and attempted to stone Joshua and Caleb. At that moment, the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, and God said to Moses:

How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs which I have wrought among them? –Num. 14:11CEV|KJ|NI

But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day a year, you shall bear your iniquity, forty years, and you shall know my displeasure. –Num. 14:31-34CEV|KJ|NI

As a result of their lack of faith, the third foundation for the Tabernacle ended in failure. Their twenty-one-month course in the wilderness was extended to forty years.

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