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II. Their Peril (vv 28-29; 31-33).
The scouting report, while showing the blessings of the land, also pointed to seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The peril was a matter of perspective. They were looking at things with “earthly vision” rather than “kingdom glasses”. Instead of the promise, they were focusing on the peril. Instead of rallying to possess their possessions; they were retreating in fear. Look at their appraisal of the situation.
The people are strong. The cities are walled. There are warriors in the land. There are giants possessing the land. I want to call your attention to a telling statement found in verse 33. “. . .and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers . . .” They had a grasshopper mentality. They were full of doubt—full of fear—full of anguish. “We were grasshoppers in our own eyes.”
I wonder if we have any here this morning with grasshopper mentality? Notice what they said in verse 27: “. . .the land flows with milk and honey. . .” Now, in verse 28, we read “Nevertheless”. Know what they were saying? Yes this is a great land—a blessed land—a promised land, but the risks are too great! These statements betrayed their lack of confidence in the Lord.
I don’t believe that the Lord instructed Moses to send spies in the land to find out where the enemies were. We don’t find that anywhere in the Word. Moses is the one that instructed the spies to see what kind of people were in the land (vv. 17-19).
I believe God’s purpose was to encourage the children of Israel to go over and take possession of the land. The spies, however began to focus more on the peril than on the promise. Remember what I said earlier. The land of promise belonged to the children of God. Canaan land may have been occupied by hostile forces, but it still belonged to God’s people.
Yet, 10 of the 12 spies said the land could not be possessed. You talk about a majority! That’s 83%! They were ready to surrender the land of promise rather than claim their possession. They stood prepared to forfeit that which God had promised them. They operated on the wisdom of the flesh rather than the Word of the Almighty God! It made little difference to them that God had promised them this parcel of land. But not everyone felt that way. As we look at verse 30, we will find . . .
III. The Possession (v 30).
I realize it would be many years before the children of Israel would ultimately possess their possession, but there were 2 men who were ready to do it immediately. Numbers 13:30 tells us the response of Caleb. Numbers 14:7-8 adds Joshua’s testimony to that of Caleb.
The majority felt that possessing the land was an impossibility. The minority felt they should immediately go up and possess it. Let me show you something. Do you know who of those listed in Numbers 13-14 actually went into the land of promise? There were only 2—Caleb and Joshua.
Why? They believed the word of God and didn’t look at the circumstances. Thank God for men like Caleb and Joshua that will courageously look adversity in the face, and say: “That promise is mine! Here’s how scripture describes Caleb: “But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it” (Numbers 14:24).
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