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The Twelve Men sent to Spy out Canaan
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When the people were in the wilderness, the LORD spoke to Moses, and told him to send a man from every tribe of Israel, that is twelve men, into the land of Canaan. God had promised Israel that Canaan would belong to them.
And so Moses chose twelve men, one from each tribe, and sent them to spy out the land of Canaan. And he said to them "Go south into the mountains, and see the land and the people, whether they are strong or weak, few or many, and see what the land is like, good or bad, whether there is wood or not, and see what the cities are like, whether the people live in tents, or live in protected places. And bring back some of the fruit of the land because now is the time when the grapes will be ready."
So the twelve men went and searched the land, and they cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they were so big it needed to be carried between two men on a rod, and they also brought pomegranates and figs.
And so the spies returned to the wilderness after forty days. And they went to Moses, and showed them the fruit, and told them all they had seen.
And this is what they said: "We came to the land and this is the fruit that was in it, but the people are strong that live there, and the cities have walls, and we saw giants there.
But a man called Caleb told the people to be quiet and said "Let's go up right now and take the land, for we are well able to do so." But the men that also went up said "We are not able to go against them, because they are stronger than we are, and all the people we saw were giants, and we were like grasshoppers beside them."
And all the people of Israel cried, and said that it would have been better for them to die in Egypt than die in the wilderness, and they wanted to go back to Egypt.
But Joshua, who had searched the land with Caleb and the other men, spoke to the people and said "The land is a very, very good land. If the LORD delights in us, than he will bring us into this land. But do not rebel against the LORD, nor be afraid of the people of the land, for the LORD is with us...do not be afraid." Joshua and Caleb trusted the Lord...
But the people threw stones at them.
And so the LORD told Moses that the people who had seen the miracles in Egypt, and had seen God's glory, would wander in the wilderness until they all died. Only Joshua and Caleb, who trusted the LORD, and the children would go into the promised land.
And so this is what happened, because the people chose to believe what the spies said, instead of believing Joshua and Caleb and trusting the Lord.
Memory Verse: Numbers 14:9 "Only rebel not against the LORD, neither fear the people of the land; the LORD is with us, fear them not."
1. Why did the spies go into the land of Canaan?
2. What did they bring back?
3. Why were they afraid to go into the land?
4. What did Joshua tell the people?
5. Why did God say the people would not go into the promised land?
1. To check out the land and the people, to see what the cities were like, and to bring back food.
2. A branch with one cluster of grapes, some pomegranates and some figs
3. Because the cities were walled, the people were strong, and there were giants.
4. Not to rebel against the LORD, that the LORD would bring them into the land, and not to be afraid.
5. Because the people believed the spies instead of believing Joshua and trusting the LORD.
Vicki C. Gross/Sept.'02
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