After the number of days in which you spied out the land, even forty days, for each day a year shall you bear and suffer for your iniquities, even for forty years, and you shall know My displeasure (Numbers 14:34).
When God called Israel out of the Egypt, He gave them instructions and guidance on how to ordain their lives in order to enter the Promised Land successfully. But Israel’s sin of unbelief and idolatry followed by the hardening of their hearts became a stumbling block on their way there. In their stubbornness, Israel closed the eyes of their hearts to the miraculous deeds performed on their behalf, as in the opening of the Red Sea to save them from the Egyptian’s army; how God had satisfied their hunger with heavenly manna; the visible presence of God in their midst in a pillar of fire by night to give them light on their journey and a cloud by day to protect them from the heat of the day. Nothing seemed to matter to them.
After having wandered for three days, they went through the wilderness of Shur, where there was no water. In panic, they murmured, complained and doubted and undermined the faithfulness of God. Yet, lovingly, God blessed them with twelve springs of water, one for each tribe, and seventy palm trees. God used the number seventy to form the nation of Israel; Jacob’s family consisted of seventy people when they left for Egypt. The number seventy is also connected with God’s punishment of Israel; so those seventy palm trees were speaking to them of future seventy years of captivity in Babylon. It is prophesized in the book of Daniel that seventy weeks of years (70×7) have been given to them to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness and to seal up the vision and prophecy and to anoint the most Holy (Daniel 9:24). That was the frame of time that God gave Israel for forgiveness in the number 70×7= 490 years. There is one more week of years left for the completion of God’s plan in the life of Israel.