“But again and again Your people rebelled against You. And so they were made to wander through the desert for forty years – until You brought them into the Promised Land, by the hands of Your servant Joshua” (Praise of the Blessed Trinity).
The Covenant sealed between God and His people did not guarantee that all the Israelites would henceforth be free from confusion and sin, and that, trusting in God, they would from then on take the straight path and be guided docilely by the Lord towards the Promised Land.
We know well the story of the golden calf (Ex 32:1-6), the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiron (Num 16:1), and the repeated complaints and even harsh reproaches of the people against God (Ex 16:2-3). Aaron and Miriam also rebelled against Moses and questioned his election (Num 12:1-2). But God made it clear to them that He had given special grace to His servant: “If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house” (Num12:6-7).
Our Father was tireless in His efforts to educate His people so that they would not stray from His path and would continue on the way of life.
After the transgressions committed by the people, Moses presented himself again and again to our Father to implore Him to deliver them from the calamity that sin had brought upon them and to ask Him not to turn away from them. Our Father dealt with Moses with great intimacy: “With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the Lord” (Num 12:8).
Thus, time and again, Moses implored His Lord to be merciful to the stubborn people, beseeching the Father to lead them, in spite of their rebellion, to the land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
And Moses was heard, for he had found favor with God. So our Father led His people through him to the borders of the Promised Land, but Moses did not enter with them. The Lord had raised up Joshua, the son of Nun, for this task…