This week’s parsha from the annual Torah cycle schedule is almost certainly one of the most tragic, and critical, stories in all of Scripture. The ‘ten spies,’ the ‘first recorded vote in history,’ and the turning point that cost an entire generation their entry into the Promised Land, and everyone else another 40 years in the wilderness.

Join Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa fellowship for a two-part look at parsha ‘Shalach Lecha’ (Numbers chapters 13 through 15).

The Erev Shabbat reading and outline of the parsha begins with those words, “send out men,” shalach lecha, to, well, actually, TOUR the land. Infamously, they bring back an “evil report,” and convince literally ‘kol ha edah’ — all the congregation of Israel, to turn back into slavery, rather than trust in Yahuah. As you ought to suspect, there’s more to the story:

The Sabbath Day teaching is about the MESSAGE in the story of the ‘spies.’ But, actually, they weren’t really “spies” at all. Or weren’t supposed to be. Mark suggests they either didn’t know, or didn’t care, what they were actually sent out to do.

And that’s where the tragic lesson only begins. And – one more time – has never, EVER been more important or relevant than “such a time as this” – perhaps the most important turning point in human history, or “Biblical proportions” even!

We’ve all heard “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” What this story, and the multiple commandments and “statutes” that surround it, makes clear is that it is, however, CONSISTENT — or supposed to be. One “law”, one instruction, even one set of STATUTES, for “you, and the soujourner who dwells among you.” Certainly not – one set of rules for you peons, and another entirely for those who make the rules, and %$W$@$! with what that God of the Bible might have to say.

But that’s what we have. But that’s not the only lie revealed in this parsha, and in the “times and seasons” we see today.

It turns out that “ignorance of the law” may, in fact, be an excuse. But – ONLY once!

Don’t miss the lesson here. Because it all connects, all fits, and has never been more important to understand. We MUST know “what is really going on?”

“Spying” wasn’t the mission. But EVERY single adult who listened, and participated in their literal rebellion to Yah, ended up dying ‘bemidbar’ – there in the wilderness.

“Shalach Lecha: Rebellion, Witchcraft, and Why a Simple Blue Thread Matters”

The combined two-part podcast is here: