This post continues our focus on the importance of reading Scripture
in its context.
I was recently reading a book by a popular Christian author
(who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty).The writer cites Deuteronomy
1:1-8, which reads:
These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel
in the wilderness east of the Jordan—that is, in the Arabah—opposite Suph,
between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab. 2
eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.)
In the fortieth year, on the first day of the
eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord
had commanded him concerning them. 4
This was after he had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon,
and at Edrei had defeated Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth.
East of the Jordan in the territory of Moab,
Moses began to expound this law, saying:
our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7
Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the
neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills,
in the Negev and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon,
as far as the great river, the Euphrates. 8
See, I have given you
this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord
swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.”
The writer says that Moses pointed out to the Israelites
that what should have been an eleven-day journey had taken them forty years (v.
2), and goes on to say that in verse 6
Moses tells them they have stayed at this mountain long enough. The
author then directs a question to the reader: Have you stayed long enough at
the same mountain? Has it taken you forty years to make an eleven-day journey?