"These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua" (Numbers 13:16).
Forty days can make or break you!
Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there 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. So they went up and spied out the land from the Wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, near the entrance of Hamath." (Numbers 13:17-21)
"And they returned from spying out the land after forty days. Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit" (Numbers 13:25-27).
"Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan. Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, 'Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.' But the men who had gone up with him said, 'We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we'” (Numbers 13:28-31).
NEVERTHELESS! Wrong answer. The purpose of the wilderness is summarized again with our God drawing us close to Himself in order to fully prepare us for our destiny in Him. Israel had witnessed the power, the miracles and the demonstrative hand and heart of God. He had drawn them into the wilderness on "the wings of eagles" to prepare them as a kingdom of priests. But as they longingly waited for the spies in return, they allowed old enemies - shame, fear, a victim spirit and doubt - to enter into hearts. Their vote, even with the power of the Lord going before them, was "no."
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