The Journey From Kadesh-barnea to Moab

An evangelist was riding on a plane filled with people, cigarette smoke and defiled air. The evangelist knew he would have to take a bath, and send his clothes to the cleaners. He felt like he had been charcoal-broiled. Suddenly he turned to a woman and said, “Would yo … More


In this passage we can see how God did not give up on His people in spite of this 40 year judgment of that ungrateful and rebellious generation. We can see how He was still  guiding them through His prophet Moses and had not abandoned His plan to give them the promised land in Canaan.

As God told Moses to go through Seir, the home of Esau’s descendants, He warned Israel not to fight with these people (vv. 1-8). Just as the Edomites were not attacked and conquered because they were related to Jacob so the Moabites were spared because they were descendants of Lot, the nephew of Abraham (vv. 9-15). This points out that Israel was not free to conquer any territory they wanted but He had promised them a definite land. This shows how God is sovereign over all lands and all peoples even to this day. God has set the bounds of all nations (Acts 17:26). Most wars are fought because  the boundaries of nations are not respected. Israel did not have to spend 40 years on the way to the promised land. God allowed them to experience the wilderness wanderings because they:

  1. Rejected His love.
  2. Rebelled against His authority.
  3. Ignored his commands for right living.
  4. Willfully broke their end of the agreement made in Exodus. (Ex. 19:8 and 24:3-8)


God wanted the Israelites to deal justly with their neighbors. I must also recognize the rights of others and act justly in dealing with them. By doing this I may be able to establish and restore relationships which will be pleasing to God.

Deuteronomy 2:1-15 (English Standard Version)

"Then we turned and journeyed into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea, as the LORD told me. And for many days we traveled around Mount Seir. Then the LORD said to me, 'You have been traveling around this mountain country long enough. Turn northward and command the people, "You are about to pass through the territory of your brothers, the people of Esau, who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. So be very careful. Do not contend with them, for I will not give you any of their land, no, not so much as for the sole of the foot to tread on, because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession. You shall purchase food from them for money, that you may eat, and you shall also buy water of them for money, that you may drink. For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing."' So we went on, away from our brothers, the people of Esau, who live in Seir, away from the Arabah road from Elath and Ezion- geber. "And we turned and went in the direction of the wilderness of Moab. And the LORD said to me, 'Do not harass Moab or contend with them in battle, for I will not give you any of their land for a possession, because I have given Ar to the people of Lot for a possession.' (The Emim formerly lived there, a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim. Like the Anakim they are also counted as Rephaim, but the Moabites call them Emim. The Horites also lived in Seir formerly, but the people of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and settled in their place, as Israel did to the land of their possession, which the LORD gave to them.) 'Now rise up and go over the brook Zered.' So we went over the brook Zered. And the time from our leaving Kadesh-barnea until we crossed the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until the entire generation, that is, the men of war, had perished from the camp, as the LORD had sworn to them. For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from the camp, until they had perished."

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