these ten times

Numbers 14:22

14:22 these ten times. There had already been at least ten times when the Israelites had provoked God by their complaints and doubts, despite all the miracles He had performed on their behalf–first at the Red Sea, then at the waters of Marah, twice in the wilderness of Sin about their hunger and then again about their thirst, then in the matter of the golden calf (Exodus 14:11,12; 15:23,24; 16:2,20,27,28; 17:2; 32:1-7). There soon followed the strange fire of Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1). When they again complained, God sent fire; then the mixed multitude complained about the manna and God sent a plague with the quail. Even Miriam had rebelled, and now finally there was this full rebellion after the spies came back (Numbers 11:1,4; 12:1; 14:2). The people had observed the ten miraculous plagues on Egypt and then seen ten later marvelous miracles by God on their behalf (the Passover, the pillar of fire, the parting of the Red Sea waters, the destruction of Pharaoh’s army, the bitter water of Marah made sweet, the sending of quails, the daily provision of manna, water from the rock, the miraculous defeat of the Amalekites, and the second provision of quails), yet they had rebelled ten times, the last of which was the report of ten fearful spies. Yet they had unhesitatingly accepted God’s covenant of the ten commandments. No wonder God’s patience was stretched to the limit!

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