Numbers 13-14 and Psalm 44-45
Here we are to chapter 13, and we get to read one of the “fun” stories throughout the book. Today, we get to read a handful of spies checking out a chunk of land, and it kind of reminds me of a present-day James Bond movie. The story starts off with Moses sending out 12 spies to check out the land of Canaan. If we remember from Genesis, the land of Canaan was the land that God promised to Abraham and his descendants. Therefore, it’s the land that rightfully belongs to the Israelites. Since they were saved from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites have been making their way back to the Promised Land. Now they were so close. Before they were ready to enter the Promised Land though, they wanted to receive some intel on the land, and that’s where the 12 spies come into play.
The 12 spies spent 40 days away checking out the land of Canaan. At the end of the 40 days, they reported to Moses and the Israelites. All twelve of their reports were similar in the fact that they all agreed the land was good! The land was flowing with milk and honey – better than some manna and quail. However, 10 of the 12 spies said that they should not go take the land because it was well defended, as the cities were large and well-fortified. The other 2 spies, Joshua and Caleb, said that they should go for it because they have the X-factor, God. What great faith demonstrated by Joshua and Caleb!
The Israelites ultimately listen to the 10 spies unfortunately. This was very displeasing to God, as they didn’t have faith that He could deliver to them the land that he promised them. Therefore, God said he was going to strike down the Israelites right then and there, but Moses interceded for them. God compromised with Moses, and instead of striking them down, God decided that he wouldn’t allow anyone over 20 years old to enter the Promised Land other than Caleb and Joshua. Spoiler alert, this is precisely why the census at the beginning of the 40 years was about the same as the end of the 40 years. There would have been a lot of dying and a lot of reproducing at the same time.
At first the Israelites didn’t want to go in the Promised Land when God promised it to them. However, when God said they couldn’t enter the land, they decided to take matters in their own hand and attempt to enter the land. You guessed it, that attempt did not go very smoothly for those who tried.
Let’s learn from the example of the Israelites here. When the Israelites displayed a lack of faith, they were severely punished by God. Then, when God told them not to enter the land of Canaan, they did that exact thing! Because of their disobedience, the people who attempted to enter were killed. Rather than going against God’s direction and will like the Israelites, let’s humbly submit to God and His will for us. Trust me, it will totally pay off if you follow God rather than rebel against God.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of the book of Numbers, as there are some interesting stories waiting for you all! Remember, the book is not as boring as the title would suggest.
A note from Psalms:
“For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me,” Psalm 44:6.
The Israelites would have been well off if they considered this verse when they attempted to go to Canaan against God’s direction. We may not put our trust in a bow or sword; however, it’s very tempting to put our trust in our money and possessions. When we put our trust in our possessions, we will only be disappointed. In fact, we will only not be disappointed if we put our trust in God!