Two faithful spies from Numbers 13
The SELECTION (13:1-16)
- They should not have needed spies, but God allowed them this faithless liberty (Deut 1:22-23).
- A leading man in each of the twelve tribes was selected to lend credibility to their report.
- Caleb was selected from the tribe of Judah, whom we shall come to love a little later.
- Oshea was selected from the tribe of Ephraim, whom we shall also love a little later.
- Oshea means salvation, but it does not tell what salvation or who is the Saviour.
- Moses renamed him Jehoshua, meaning Jehovah is salvation, as our Lord. Amen!
The ASSIGNMENT (13:17-25)
- They were to determine what kind of land it was and what the people were like living there.
- A parenthetical note humbles the Egyptians, who presumed their own great antiquity (13:22).
- Due to the time of firstripe grapes, they brought a cluster of grapes on a pole between two men.
- They were gone 40 days on this assignment, as they traveled from the Sinai Peninsula to Syria.
The DISAGREEMENT (13:26-33)
- Ten spies opened with an honest commendation of the land, but with fear of the difficulties.
- Caleb stilled the people, who must have been moaning, by calling for them to take it at once.
- When the disagreement was clearly visible, the compromisers embellished their negative story.
The CHOICE (14:1-4)
- The people got emotional and bemoaned their horrible fate, by rejecting faith in God’s Word!
- They murmured against their leaders, who were only doing God’s duty, to blame it on them.
- They reacted and spoke foolishly with their lips about dying in either Egypt or the wilderness.
- God will grant their stupid request, and they will all die in the wilderness. Watch your words!
- They sure didn’t talk that way when they were back in Egypt; they hated the place greatly.
- They wanted to find a new preacher to leader their church back into the cesspool of Egypt.
The WARNING (14:5-10)
- Four men, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb, begged these rebels to reconsider their choices.
- They warned the congregation not to rebel against the Lord, for He was with them for victory.
- As is often the case, the wickedness of man blinds them, and they seek to stone the four men.
- The LORD intervened and protected His four men by revealing His intimidating glory! Amen!
The INTERCESSION (14:11-21)
- The LORD threatens to destroy His people and make a greater and mightier nation of Moses.
- Moses reasons with the Lord that such a move would harm His reputation among the nations.
- Moses reasons with the Lord to show the glory He had earlier revealed (Exodus 33:18 – 34:9).
- The Lord agrees to pardon the people, but He is going to fill all the earth with His holy glory.
The JUDGMENT (14:22-39)
- Ten times are too many, and the Lord is not going to let these people enter the Promised Land.
- He tells the people plainly, through Moses, that they are now to turn back into the wilderness.
- He swore in His wrath, by the truth of His own existence, that they would die in the wilderness.
- He drew the line at 20 on this occasion, with those under 20 being allowed to enter the land.
- Only Joshua and Caleb, because of a better spirit and following Him fully, were the exceptions.
- One year for each day of spying would be used to entirely consume the older generation.
- While the Lord explained these things to Moses, the ten compromising spies died right there.
The REPENTANCE (14:40-45)
- The people mourned greatly, repented, and got up early in the morning to go into Canaan.
- But Moses warned them they were transgressing another commandment now and not to do it.
- They presumed to go up anyway, and the Amalekites and Canaanites defeated them easily.
The PROPHECY (Psalm 95)
- The blessed Lord used this event in prophecy to warn of the times of Messiah and His rest.
- Though 500 years later, David prophesied of another day that would bring similar temptation.
- Stephen and Paul preached about Israel’s wickedness for those 40 years (Acts 7:42-43; 13:18).
- The great example of that church was used by Paul to provoke the Corinthians (I Cor 10:1-11).
- Paul used the prophecy to warn Jews of another, similar oath against them (Heb 3:7 – 4:11).