Summary: as we study the account in Numbers of the sending out of the 12 spies, we will carefully look at the 2 reports that Moses received. And as we do, we will come to understand, that even in our own lives, there are 2 messages being sent, and we too must dec
"WHO WILL WE BELIEVE?"
TEXT: NUMBERS CHAPTER 13 AND 14
Today I want us to look at our text through the eyes of someone who would have been there to witness the events that unfolded. I’ll be doing in the first person.
I was sleeping when the men came to our tent, to wake up my father. It was a cool and windy night and I could barely hear their voices over the loud rush of the wind. About the only thing I did hear, was that Moses had commanded them to bring my Father, Nahbi, and 11 others from the tribes of Israel, to his tent.
When they left I quietly followed behind them. As they reached the tent of Moses I saw my father and the other men go inside.
As the hours passed I grew tired and fell asleep. But as the sun rose on the distant horizon and as the camp began to come to life once again, I too woke up.
And as I did I looked up and saw the great Leader Moses speaking with my father and with the others.
Moses was telling them that he had chosen them to go into the promise land. Moses had chosen my Father to be one the people to travel into Canaan to scout this new land. Moses told them that they were to go there to see what the land was like and to see whether the people who lived there were strong or weak, few or many. They were to find out what kind of cities the people lived in, were they large? Did they have fortified walls. And since this was time of the year when the first grapes are ripening on the vine, Moses asked them to bring back some of the fruit of the land. Moses told them that they had 40 days to complete their exploration.
As my Father came to our tent and said his good-byes to us, we were all very proud that our Father was chosen from among all the thousands of men in the camp, for this great and honorable task.
My Father and the eleven, met at the edge of the camp and set out together on a long journey through a strange land. I could sense great excitement, anticipation and a little anxiety as they moved forward.
The 40 days that they were gone were difficult for those in the camp. Especially for the families of the 12, who worried wondering if their loved ones were safe. I was a little worried too, but I also with my friends enjoyed playing a game where we imagined that we were exploring the new land. Everyone was very anxious to hear the news that they would bring back. Wondering what the new land would be like. Hoping it was a paradise.
The hours turned into days and the days into weeks. And finally one day someone came running from the edge of the camp, shouting, "they’re here, they’ve returned, they’ve returned!!"
The 12 went straight to the tent of Moses. And the whole camp excitedly gathered there as well. I ran fast and was able to get a place up close.
I saw my Father standing there with the others, and I noticed, as I looked at his face, that something was wrong, I have seen that look before. My Father was angry. In fact all of the 12 looked a little angry, they looked a lot angry, they were waving there hands all over the place, and it seemed like the 10 including my father, were upset with Caleb and Joshua. I really didn’t understand what was going on. But what ever it was it was getting pretty heated.
However, as Moses came out of his tent they all calmed down, almost immediately. Moses spoke and asked them for their findings.
My Father and the nine said: "we are back! And this land is indeed a land flowing with milk and honey!" and as my father handed Moses some of the fruit he said, "here look at this fruit, it’s delicious".
And as they said this the whole camp began to echo with cheers of joy. Then my father and the 9 began to speak again, "Yes it is a great land BUT the people who live there are powerful, they are giants, and we are no match for there cities, they would destroy us if we tried to take the land".
At those words grumbling began to spread rapidly throughout the camp. People all around me were shouting, groaning and crying.
Caleb and Joshua stood up and tried to silence the crowd, but the people refused to listen to their words of encouragement.
Their cry of " we can do it", was overcome by crys of, "they are giants and we are grasshoppers."