Moses and the 12 Spies
Where is your faith?
The Hebrew people lived and moved about in the wilderness for many years. The family tribes were large and they had to learn to live and work together!
One day the Lord spoke to Moses and said, "Pick 12 men, one from each of the tribes, to go into Canaan, the land I have promised you, to spy out the land." So Moses picked 12 men and told them to see what Canaan was like, the land, the cities and the people.
After 40 days the 12 returned, with pomegranates and figs. They showed the people the fruit from the land. They said it flowed with milk and honey.
But 10 of the spies also said the people living there were strong and the cities large and fortified. They said there were many large tribes there. They said, "We can not go against these people for they are too strong for us."
Caleb and Joshua, the other two spies said, "The land we saw is a wonderful land. The Lord has promised it to us, and if we have faith in His promise, we shall surely win this land."
But the people were frightened and angry and began to stone Joshua and Caleb.
Then the Lord appeared in the tent of meeting. "How long will these people reject Me and lose faith after all the signs I have shown them? I think I must punish them and reject them as My people."
But Moses begged the Lord to forgive them. The Lord said "I have pardoned them as you ask. But as their punishment you will not enter the Promised Land for 40 years, and this generation will never enter, but only their children."
So the people of God lived in the wilderness for 40 years and learned patience and faith in their Lord. And after the forty years, Moses saw the Promised Land before him but he himself did not enter it before he died.
Adapted from Numbers 13-14