Spies Sent into Canaan
13 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 g“Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, everyone a chief among them.” 3 So Moses sent them from hthe wilderness of Paran, according to the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the people of Israel.
17 Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them, “Go up into lthe Negeb and go up into mthe hill country, 18 and see what the land is, and whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many, 19 and whether the land that they dwell in is good or bad, and whether the cities that they dwell in are camps or strongholds, 20 and whether the land is nrich or poor, and whether there are trees in it or not. oBe of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.
From the Bible story we learn about God’s desire to change his people’s lives and make them better. He commanded the leader Moses to send spies to the Promised Land. The spies that where sent were not just ordinary people but leaders of each tribe. It can be associated to what we now call member of parliaments or diplomats.
These elders were assigned with a specific mandate; among them were Joshua and Caleb. After a 40-day exploration of Canaan, the explorers reported, “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there” (Numbers 13:27–28). This report frightened the people (Numbers 13:31–33).
We could see how our minds can be deviated to only focus on one aspect, Israelites where coming with a strong background of miraculous victories among them God seeing them through the mighty Egyptian army as well as parting the red sea. All those things where quickly forgotten in the glimpse of an eye and they opted to pick the mindset of defeat. Moreover the same God who sent them on that mission was the same God who delivered them from the mighty Egyptian army.
This is also true to our daily lives; God has given us a lot of promises and prophetic words over our lives but we still languish in pain, deficiency, sorrow, bitterness and resentment. Just because there is a promise of God does not mean there will be no difficulties. In fact God want to reveal himself in difficulty situations. It’s very difficult to see the work of God in situations where there are no hardships and difficulties.
The instructions to the Egyptians were that they should keep courage; God is still repeating this same statement to us. If you find it difficult to keep courage, just remember where God has picked you from. That is called mindset; readjusting and aligning your mind to think in a way you will obtain victory, remember you are just getting what is rightfully yours which is in the enemy’s territory or hands.
One disheartening thing about the story was that when the report was given, all the 10 leaders presented disturbing news to the people. That people there are huge and mighty they could not measure up with their strength, they looked like grasshoppers. When Joshua and Caleb mentioned that with Gods on our side we can still get people threaten.
Caleb had a different Mindset from the other spies. Verse 30 records, “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’” When the people complained that they could not go up to conquer the land, both Caleb and Joshua responded strongly: “Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh . . . tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, ‘The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them’” (Numbers 14:6–9).
Sometimes the majority is not always right, despite Caleb and Joshua insisting on victory amidst major setback like sons of Anak (believed to have been very tall and huge people) as well as fortified cities. The whole Israelites people refused to see things in that perspective, instead they wanted to stone and kill Joshua and Caleb. Occasionally, what is in your mind might not generally be accepted by the majority of people. That should not mean you should give up, develop the growth mindset and go on and do it. God does not necessary disregard prayer but He demands that our minds be renewed and be conformed to His own standard and will. He demands his people to see things his way, so that they can get whatever they require from Him.
Joshua’s leadership qualities can be seen in his rock-solid faith in God. When the Israelites were on the edge of the Promised Land in Numbers 13, God commanded Moses to send out twelve people to spy out the land, one from each of the tribes of Israel. Upon their return, ten reported that the land, while bounteous as the Lord had promised, was occupied by strong and fierce warriors dwelling in large, fortified cities. Furthermore, the Nephilim (giants from the Israelites’ perspective) were in the land. However, Joshua and Caleb were the only two who urged the people to take the land (Numbers 14:7-10). Here we see one thing that sets Joshua (and Caleb) apart from the rest of the Israelites—they believed in the promises of God. They were not intimidated by the size of the warriors or the strength of the cities. Rather, they knew their God and remembered how He had dealt with Egypt, the most powerful nation on the earth at that time. If God could take care of the mighty Egyptian army, He could certainly take care of the various Canaanite tribes. God rewarded Joshua’s and Caleb’s faith by exempting them from the entire generation of Israelites that would perish in the wilderness.
When God saw what the Israelites did to Joshua and Caleb he was deeply sadden, he told Moses that he will punish his people. Moses went to plead with the Lord almighty, God changed his mind.40 years later the Israelites embarked on the same mission with Joshua now the leader. He was given similar promises like Moses by God to be strong and courageous. Chapter 2 of the book of Joshua; He secretly sent two spies to look over the land specifically the land of Jericho which was fortified.
Interestingly, when God gives you something he means it. Look at the perceptive of the enemy when the Israelites where considering themselves as small as grasshoppers in the land God set them to occupy. The hearts of the enemies melted down in fear because they heard what the Lord did to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt, drying up the Red Sea and they knew that the Lord God has given the land to them. They feared what might become of them if these people come and occupy the land. Joshua 2:8…
8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.[b] 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
What more do you need? If God be for us who can be against us? Romans 8:31. What is it that is bothering you? What is it that has made your whole life miserable? What is it that you have always wanted to have and it does not see to come your way? What is delaying upon your life that you feel resentful? In all ill situations know that the Lord is good and his mercies endure forever. Decide to change your mindset and follow the mindset of God. All situations are set before you so that he may reveal his glory. By nature we are very difficult people to believe, we even refuse to believe in Him even after looking at His creation which he has setup in his own wonderment.
Therefore God want to deal with your mind, the longer you accept to believe in him the longer it takes for you to conquer and recover. Difficulty and complicated situations will always be there for us but our conformity with Gods mind will always see us through. Israelites 40 years wait was not set for them as the time they will conquer but came as the result of people’s strong resolve to believe in the progressive mind of God and His desire to give them rest.
God has a very strong desire to give you rest in whatever situations be it economically, financially, physically, families, nations, in your careers and in all your wellbeing. God knows that you are physically weak but He will ask you to gather courage and be strong. He knows that you need marriage he ask you to gather courage and stay strong. He knows that you are broke he still demands us to believe him as a provider. In essence God knows all our weaknesses and frailties and requires us to have firm trust in him.
Now that we know the desire of God and how committed he is towards his plan. We need to adopt one mindset, and that is a progressive mindset of God. Whatever limitation is set before you, you will overcome. Paul shows us the mindset guidelines in a letter he wrote to the Philippians;
Philippians 4:8 (ESV):8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
With your mind you can create wonderful and adorable things man has ever seen on earth; you can make the world and with the same mind you can destroy yourself to such an existent that the world would be miserable place to live in. See how man’s mind is able to create endless wars and hate speeches. We now know how powerful our minds are and the need to correctly aligning them with appropriate guidelines. Make a strong resolve today to align your thinking to whatever is honorable, fair, pure, lovely, commendable, praise worthy and excellent. In whatever you do let this be your benchmark, in your careers, families, nations, works and your entire life.