God told Moses to send spies into Canaan to explore the land God was giving the Israelites as their inheritance. 12 men, each from the 12 tribes of Israel, were chosen, except from the tribe of the priests, Levi. Caleb from from Judah and Hoshea (whom Moses called Joshua and future leader of Israel) was from Ephraim. Moses sent them to explore the people, harvest, soil, towns, trees, and the defense of the land. They returned after 40 days and brought reports to Moses. Many said that the land and harvest were good, but the inhabitants were strong and the cities were well fortified. Caleb wanted them to attack and take the land. The other men went on to spread fear among the people and said the people there were like giants.
The people rebelled against God and Moses for not allowing them to die in Egypt as slaves or in the desert. They wondered why God wants them to die by the swords of giants. So when God leads us to prosperity, there is still some difficulty along the way that God has to help us overcome. Your faith and believe in God is always necessary. The Israelites decided to choose a leader to take them back to Egypt rather than be plunders of war in an attempt to possess their possessions. Moses, Aaron, Caleb, and Joshua tried to convince the Israelites that the land was good and that God will defeat the giants of the land on their behalf, but the people wanted to stone them to death. God was upset at the disbelief of the Jews despite all God had done for them thus far. It seems that the Jews preferred the slavery in Egypt to the freedom of the promised land. God was going to destroy them with a plague, but Moses begged God that the other nations will say that God could not get them into the promised land so he destroyed them in the desert. God told Moses he had forgiven them, but not one of them that has tested him will see the promised land. God promised to give Caleb the land he went into because of his godly spirit. Only Caleb, Joshua, and the children will see the promised land because God was going to keep them in the desert for 40 years (a year each for the 40 days they used to explore Canaan) until all of the adults have died. Many were displeased with the word of God and made an attempt to move forward into the promised land, but God was not with them and they were defeated and killed.
God told Moses the offerings needed after they enter the promised land – land of Canaan. A man gathering wood on a Sabbath was stoned to death outside the camp.
Korah from Levi, as well as Dathan and Abiram from Reuben led about 250 well known Israelites leaders against Moses and Aaron. They claimed that the people were already holy and that they should not be their leader. So Moses told Korah to come before God the next day to serve God with fire and incense to see who God has chosen to lead the people. Moses felt that the Levites were ungrateful to God because God separated them from the rest of Israel to serve him, but now they want the priesthood too from Aaron. The ground opened up to swallow these men and fire consumed the 250 men that wanted to burn incense. Yet, the Israelites came the next day to accuse Moses of killing them, so God brought a plague upon them despite the fact that Moses and Aaron made atonement for their rebellion. Many of the Israelites still died.
God asked Moses to make each tribal leader bring a staff with his name on it. God wanted Aaron to represent Levi and it was God’s way of showing the people who God wanted to represent God. God was going to make the staff of the tribal leader he choose to sprout so that all of Israel knows who represents God. The next day, only Aaron’s staff had sprouted. It also blossomed and produced almonds. God asked Moses to save Aaron’s budded staff as a testimony to all of Israel not to grumble against God’s chosen representatives. God always justifies his decisions.