Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them, “Go up into the Negeb and go up into the hill country, and see what the land is, and whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many, and whether the land that they dwell in is good or bad, and whether the cities that they dwell in are camps or strongholds, and whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are trees in it or not. Be of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes. – Numbers 13:17-20 ESV
The Bible is given to us for many reasons. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) The Message Bible paraphrase puts it this way; Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. When we read the Bible we need to ask: Who was this said to, what did it mean back then (in context to the culture and the day), and what does that mean to me today? There are many lessons to be learned from the 12 spies, as a leader, as a Christian, as a Child of God in a World going to Hell and hating our God and those that are bold enough to share Christ in a world that wants to hear nothing about Jesus! We must know our MISSION, just like the 12 spies needed to remember their mission. They got off mission and they messed things up, and that cost them THE PROMISES OF GOD! What was the purpose of Moses sending the Spies into Canaan? What is God’s purpose for saving you and keeping you on this planet? Once you were saved, why did HE LEAVE YOU HERE?
Leader, Before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, God commanded Moses, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them” (Numbers 13:2). By sending these twelve men into Canaan on a reconnaissance mission, Moses was obeying the Lord. God gave them an agenda, for them to accomplish several goals. He asked the spies to gather information about the following: whether the people who lived there were strong or weak, few or many (v18),whether the land was good or bad- whether the cities were like camps or strongholds (v19), whether the land was rich or poor, whether or not there were forests there, and to bring back some fruit of the land(v20). As a leader, and a WARRIOR for GOD we must know what our outcome is. We are not to PLAY GOD we are to OBEY GOD. God didn’t ask them to decide if it was a good or bad thing, God didn’t ask for them to decide if they could take it or not take it. God told them to GO SEE the land “which I am giving to the children of Israel”. This is mistake NUMBER 1: STAY ON MISSION! Just like today, we are NOT CALLED to change the world. The World system is against God and it will always be against God, we are called to be on a RESCUE MISSION. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation”. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound” (Mark 16:15,Isaiah 61:1) THIS IS THE MISSION OF EVERY BELIEVER!
Conduit, God had commanded Moses to send the twelve spies so the Israelites would be equipped to do battle in the land—thus Moses’ goals of finding out about the people, the cities, and the landscape. God would ultimately fight the battles for them, but they had to do their part, which was to HAVE FAITH. Long before, God had promised to give the Israelites the land of Canaan as their own (Exodus 6:4, 8). GOD had PROMISED them total victory, if they would trust Him: “My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out” (Exodus 23:23). Every place where the sole of your foot treads will be yours. Your territory will extend from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Western Sea. No man will be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will put the fear and dread of you upon all the land, wherever you set foot, as He has promised you. (Deuteronomy 11:24-25) The difference between the 10 spies who gave a BAD REPORT and the 2- Caleb and Joshua, who gave a GOOD REPORT was ATTITUDE, and that attitude affected their FAITH! Faith is believing what GOD SAYS, even when our eyes, our ears, our feelings- our FLESH, tells us something different! The outlook of the ten spies was not very bright. Their report was one of gloom. They could only see the problems instead of the possibilities, the giants instead of God and defeat instead of victory. The inspired writer called it “an evil report” (13:32). On the other hand, Caleb and Joshua, were very optimistic. Their report was one of hope. They saw the possibilities instead of the problems, God instead of giants, and victory instead of defeat. This is the biggest lesson, of many, to learn from this story. When we have FEAR instead of FAITH, we MISS GOD’S BLESSINGS! “Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today. But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the LORD your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28) CHOOSE WELL WARRIOR- millions of people could be depending on it!