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Verses 13-33

The writer did not recount Israel’s rebellions in the wilderness in strict chronological sequence. His concern was to build from less serious acts of rebellion to greater ones, evidently for the emotional effect this would produce in the reader.

Psalms 106:13-15 describe the rebellion at Kibroth-hattaavah when the Israelites demanded meat and God sent them quails (Numbers 11:4-34; cf. Lot, and the Prodigal Son). Psalms 106:16-18 recall the rebellion of Dathan and Abiram against Moses (Numbers 16). Psalms 106:19-23 refer to the golden calf incident at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 32). "Their glory" (Psalms 106:20) refers to Yahweh.

"The first failure involved the lusts of the flesh and the second involved the pride of life (see 1 John 2:15-17). The third failure, the worship of the golden calf (Exodus 32; Deuteronomy 9:8-29), involved the lust of the eyes." [Note: Wiersbe, The . . . Wisdom . . ., p. 285.]

Psalms 106:24-27 speak of Israel’s refusal to enter the Promised Land from Kadesh Barnea when the spies returned and gave their discouraging report (Numbers 13:26-33). Psalms 106:28-31 refer to Israel’s participation in the pagan worship feast of the Moabites, another flagrant departure from faithful allegiance to Yahweh (Numbers 25). Psalms 106:32-33 describe the rebellion at Meribah Kadesh when the people so aggravated Moses that he struck the rock rather than just speaking to it (Numbers 20:2-13).

"In summary, except for Phinehas’s action and God’s patience and grace, the wilderness era, as the psalmists recall it, has few pleasant memories. Yet, it was a time from which Israel could receive much instruction, even from their ancestors’ disobedience, for their ongoing history and relationship to God." [Note: Bullock, p. 112.]

"As George Morrison wrote, ’The Lord took Israel out of Egypt in one night, but it took Him forty years to take Egypt out of Israel.’" [Note: Wiersbe, The . . . Wisdom . . ., p. 285.]

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