The books opens with Moses telling the children of Israel that there were so many of them that he couldn't alone possible lead them all. This is when the Lord sepearates them out and gives captains over differing numbers of them. He then procedded to tell the captains for judges how they were to rule the people, justly and if there was a situation too hard for them to deal with they were to come to Moses.
He continues by recounting the events of the twelve men who went to spy on Canaan. He reminds the Israeliets of how the Lord wanted to give them a wonderful place, a fruitful land but first there was going to be some "work." 10 of the 12 spies came back with tales of how difficult it would be to overtake the giants of the land, they focused on the impossible. Only 2 of them, Joshua and Caleb told of the wonderous things that were there. Moses had encouraged the Israelites to not fear that GOD had promised them the land. It was already done, they just needed to follow in obedience.
The Israelites were afraid. They were too overcome by their fear to see that if they would only continue in obedience God would do that which they thought was impossible. They refused. No manner of encouraging from Moses would deplete the fear, doubt and anger that had risen in the hearts of the people.
Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes" Deut. 1:29,30
The Lord became wroth with His people. He tells Moses that none of the adults would see the land except for Caleb, because he had "wholly followed the Lord" and Joshua, who was to lead the Israelites after Moses' death. The children of the time, those not old enought to discern between right and wrong were also allowed to see the Promised Land.
How sad it is to think that just a wonderful blessing was witheld because of the lack of faith in God's people. Reading through this chapter caused me to reflect heavily on my own life and wonder how many times I've missed out on the blessings of God simply because I would not trust in what God had already said He would done. It was a very convicting chapter to me. Since reading this chapter 1 o Deuteronomy a few weeks ago I have been more attentive to my own faith. I have strived to see God through things that I would have otherwise been afraid of or angry about.
I know that God holds so many great things in store for us, if we would only believe!
As many of you know the Israelites realized their mistake and decided to go and fight against the Canaanites. It was too late however. God had turned away from them. Moses warned them that they would receive no help from God but they refused to listen, went up to fight anyway and lost horribly. How sad to think that had they obeyed the first time this battle would have been a victorious one. But now they were left with heartache and loss. All for a lack of faith.