24 The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn't believe his promise to care for them.
25 Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD.
26 Therefore, he swore that he would kill them in the wilderness,
27 that he would scatter their descendants among the nations, exiling them to distant lands.
28 Then our ancestors joined in the worship of Baal at Peor; they even ate sacrifices offered to the dead!
29 They angered the LORD with all these things, so a plague broke out among them.
30 But Phinehas had the courage to step in, and the plague was stopped.
31 So he has been regarded as a righteous man ever since that time.
32 At Meribah, too, they angered the LORD, causing Moses serious trouble.
33 They made Moses angry, and he spoke foolishly.
34 Israel failed to destroy the nations in the land, as the LORD had told them to.
35 Instead, they mingled among the pagans and adopted their evil customs.
36 They worshiped their idols, and this led to their downfall. 37 They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons.
38 They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters. By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan, they polluted the land with murder.
39 They defiled themselves by their evil deeds, and their love of idols was adultery in the LORD's sight.
40 That is why the LORD's anger burned against his people, and he abhorred his own special possession.
41 He handed them over to pagan nations, and those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies crushed them and brought them under their cruel power.
43 Again and again he delivered them, but they continued to rebel against him, and they were finally destroyed by their sin.
44 Even so, he pitied them in their distress and listened to their cries.
45 He remembered his covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love.
46 He even caused their captors to treat them with kindness.
47 O LORD our God, save us! Gather us back from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.
48 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Let all the people say, "Amen!" Praise the LORD!
In verse 24 we see the cause of the problem—God's "people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn't believe his promise to care for them." In verse 43 we see the outcome of their choices, "Again and again he delivered them, but they continued to rebel against him, and they were finally destroyed by their sin."
In the New Testament we are exhorted to, "Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.You must warn each other every day, as long as it is called "today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ"