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Summary: Exploring Canaan. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading:

• Hebrews chapter 11 verses 1-6.

• Numbers chapter 13 verses 1-33.

There are some things in life which are better caught than taught!

• Vision & faith.

• Quote: “Church has never had….television”.

• Both vision and faith are better caught than taught

• Ill: Meseals (infectious). Be around people who have them.

Ill:

• The bishop's car ran out of petrol,

• But much to his relief his wife remembered passing a garage half a mile back down the road.

• He searched the boot for a container,

• But he could only find his baby grandson's potty, so it had to do!

• He trudged to the petrol station,

• Then back with a full container.

• The leader of a new independent church, driving by,

• Recognised a fellow Christian in need 'and stopped his car to offer-help.

• As he approached he saw the bishop pour the contents of the potty into the tank.

• The man-gasped and said:

'If I'd known they had faith like that in the Church of England I'd never have left!'

Question: What is faith?

Answer: Faith is believing God!

• Faith is taking God at his word;

• And there is nothing new about it.

• Throughout all generations God has withheld the evidence of things visible;

• So that people would have to trust in his promise and believe him!

There are two sides to faith

• Saving faith.

• Experimental faith.

• Saving faith is primary and fits us for heaven.

• Experimental faith is secondary and fits us for earth.

• Saving faith is intangible (it cannot be measured).

• Experimental faith is tangible (it produces results that can be tested).

• But remember the order:

• Saving faith needs to come first.

• Saving faith is a heart persuasion;

• That Jesus has done all that was needed to secure our salvation

• Saving faith is passive;

• It requires nothing but belief and trust!

Experimental faith lies in the will:

• It is active;

• It too focuses on Jesus and is inspired into activity.

• Faith leads us outside ourselves;

• Because it perceives its object – God.

When a Christian exercises faith:

• They are living by the faithfulness of God, that he keeps his word;

• And they are convinced that his intervention is worth waiting for!

We will see tonight that both Joshua & Caleb had faith:

• While the rest of the nation, sadly did not!

• Only 2 men out of a population of about 2 million people!

Background:

There has been an Exodus (a mass departure):

• The Hebrews (Children of Israel) who were slaves in Egypt;

• Have been sprung free, allowed to leave the ghetto of Goshan.

• They are now through the boundaries of the Red Sea;

• And they are on the edge of the promised land.

This is a great moment in their history:

• They are on the edge of this new territory to claim;

• Knowing that God (the God who had delivered them from slavery) had told them in was theirs.

• God tells them (verse 1) to send out 12 spies. One from each of the 12 tribes of Israel.

• In military terms they are going to do a recognisance.

• They are to check out the area, to see what is there,

• So that they might know how best to plan out the invasion as they claim their land.

Moses the leader needs to know certain information as he plans his next move:

• Verse 18-19: He wants to know what the land is like.

• Is the soil fertile or poor, are their trees in the land or not.

• He even requests that they bring some of the fruit back for him to taste and enjoy.

• He wants to know if the people who live there are many or few.

• Are they weak or strong?

• Do they dwell in tents or in fortified cities?

• Verses 21-23: Tells us where they went exploring:

• Verse 25 tells us that, their exploring lasted for forty days.

If you want to know who was selected for this mission;

• They are actually named in verses 4-16.

• Our two heroes Joshua & Caleb, get name checks in verse 6, 8 & 16

• For those left behind (The Children of Israel)

• It must have been anxious 40 days awaiting their report.

Note: The assignment (verse 1):

• Their assignment was to spy out the land.

• No-one ever asked for their opinion as to whether they could take the land!

• That would have been a very foolish thing to ask them;

• Because God had already told the nation that is was theirs!

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