Summary: The story of Joshua and Caleb, hope for the church when times are tough and difficult.

United at the Cross Community Church

Sunday August 21, 2005 ¡V Pastor Mike Furches

Hope for the Future

Scripture: Numbers 13,

Attention Focus: Bobby Bouche: ¡§You can do it!¡¨

Story: Last months, getting back the vision of UAC, times of prayer, development of relationships, reaching the community. Prayer, even the spiritual war that we are in. Elders meeting, speaking about the fact that now is a time that Satan will be attacking the church, our families, each other and then trying to tear the church apart by starting first with us as pastors and we as elders.

Story: Last week getting ready for church. No television at our house until after we get home from church and have had lunch.

Question: How have you been looking at the difficulties facing you in your life or in the life of the church?


Numbers 13

(1) The LORD said to Moses, (2) " Choose a leader from each tribe and send them into Canaan to explore the land I am giving you."

(3) So Moses sent twelve tribal leaders from Israel’s camp in the Paran Desert (4 -16) with orders to explore the land of Canaan. And here are their names:

Shammua son of Zaccur from Reuben, Shaphat son of Hori from Simeon, Caleb son of Jephunneh from Judah, Igal son of Joseph from Issachar, Joshua son of Nun from Ephraim, Palti son of Raphu from Benjamin, Gaddiel son of Sodi from Zebulun, Gaddi son of Susi from Manasseh, Ammiel son of Gemalli from Dan, Sethur son of Michael from Asher, Nahbi son of Vophsi from Naphtali, and Geuel son of Machi from Gad.

(17) Before Moses sent them into Canaan, he said:

After you go through the Southern Desert of Canaan, continue north into the hill country (18) and find out what those regions are like. Be sure to remember how many people live there, how strong they are, (19 -20) and if they live in open towns or walled cities. See if the land is good for growing crops and find out what kinds of trees grow there. It’s time for grapes to ripen, so try to bring back some of the fruit that grows there.

(21) The twelve men left to explore Canaan from the Zin Desert in the south all the way to the town of Rehob near Lebo-Hamath in the north. (22) As they went through the Southern Desert, they came to the town of Hebron, which was seven years older than the Egyptian town of Zoan. In Hebron, they saw the three Anakim clans of Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai. (23 -24) When they got to Bunch Valley, they cut off a branch with such a huge bunch of grapes, that it took two men to carry it on a pole. That’s why the place was called Bunch Valley. Along with the grapes, they also took back pomegranates and figs.

(25) After exploring the land of Canaan forty days, (26) the twelve men returned to Kadesh in the Paran Desert and told Moses, Aaron, and the people what they had seen. They showed them the fruit (27) and said:

Look at this fruit! The land we explored is rich with milk and honey. (28) But the people who live there are strong, and their cities are large and walled. We even saw the three Anakim clans. (29) Besides that, the Amalekites live in the Southern Desert; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites are in the hill country; and the Canaanites live along the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. (30) Caleb calmed down the crowd and said, " Let’s go and take the land. I know we can do it!"

(31) But the other men replied, " Those people are much too strong for us." (32) Then they started spreading rumors and saying, " We won’t be able to grow anything in that soil. And the people are like giants. (33) In fact, we saw the Nephilim who are the ancestors of the Anakim. They were so big that we felt as small as grasshoppers."

Numbers 14

(1) After the Israelites heard the report from the twelve men who had explored Canaan, the people cried all night (2) and complained to Moses and Aaron, " We wish we had died in Egypt or somewhere out here in the desert! (3) Is the LORD leading us into Canaan, just to have us killed and our women and children captured? We’d be better off in Egypt." (4) Then they said to one another, " Let’s choose our own leader and go back."

(5) Moses and Aaron bowed down to pray in front of the crowd. (6) Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes in sorrow (7) and said:

We saw the land ourselves, and it’s very good. (8) If we obey the LORD, he will surely give us that land rich with milk and honey. (9) So don’t rebel. We have no reason to be afraid of the people who live there. The LORD is on our side, and they won’t stand a chance against us!

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