Our faith in God and His Word is our key for spiritual victory: The Israelites had now reached the border of Canaan, which God had promised to give to their great grandfather Abraham back in Genesis 12:1. This was God’s gift to them as a reward for Abraham obeying the call of God. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, everyone a leader among them" (Num 13:1-2).
So, Moses chose twelve leaders to spy out and report about the Promised Land that no one had seen before, and send them with an encouragement: “Be of good courage...and bring some of the fruit of the land” (v. 20). The spies found that the land they were to inherit truly flowed with milk and honey because of the abundance of grapes, figs, dates, pomegranates and nuts, and they brought a sample of one cluster of grapes that had to be carried by two men in a pole (v. 23). However, ten of the twelve spies also exaggerated the strength of the inhabitants of the land, and brought a ‘bad’ report in which they saw themselves as grasshoppers in their own sight and in the sight of their enemies (vv. 31-33).
One of the prime reasons why God had brought the Israelites out of Egypt with great signs and wonders is that they would trust God in all their future encounters – like conquering Canaan. However, they refused to believe in God and have faith in His abilities to help them achieve their goals. God expresses His frustrations to Moses: Then the Lord said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? (Num 14:11). This unbelief in God resulted in the death of all the ten spies who brought the evil report (v. 37), the wanderings of the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years (v. 33-34) and the death of all the older generation Israelites (v. 32) who had refused to have faith in God and His word. What a tragic ending to God’s own people who were redeemed from Egypt so gloriously?
This brings home a very important lesson for us – our faith in God and His Word is our key for spiritual victory. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6)