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From Eternity Past

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    How Rebellion Made Their Situation Worse

    Regardless of the divine sentence, the Israelites prepared to undertake the conquest of Canaan. They were, in their own estimation, fully prepared for conflict. Contrary to the command of God and the solemn prohibition of their leaders, they went out to meet the armies of the enemy.EP 275.1

    Moses hastened after them with the warning, “Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the Lord? but it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the Lord is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies.”EP 275.2

    The Canaanites had heard of the mysterious power that seemed to be guarding this people, and they now summoned a strong force to repel the invaders. The attacking army had no leader. No prayer was offered that God would give them the victory. Though untrained in war, they hoped by a fierce assault to bear down all opposition. They presumptuously challenged the foe that had not dared to attack them.EP 275.3

    The Canaanites had stationed themselves upon a rocky tableland reached only by a steep and dangerous ascent. The immense numbers of the Hebrews could only render their defeat more terrible. Massive rocks came thundering down, marking their path with the blood of the slain. Those who reached the summit, exhausted with their ascent, were fiercely repulsed and driven back with great loss. The army of Israel was utterly defeated.EP 275.4

    The enemies of Israel, who had awaited with trembling the approach of that mighty host, were inspired with confidence to resist them. All the reports they had heard concerning the marvelous things that God had wrought for His people, they now regarded as false; there was no cause for fear. That first defeat of Israel, by inspiring the Canaanites with courage and resolution, had greatly increased the difficulties of the conquest.EP 275.5

    Nothing remained for Israel but to fall back from the face of their victorious foes, into the wilderness, knowing that here must be the grave of a whole generation.EP 276.1

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