Biblical Principle #167: Only Two Spies Had Faith

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Two of Israel’s twelve spies who were sent to spy out the land of Canaan had faith.


GOD told Moses to send twelve spies to scout out the land of Canaan and bring back a report. When the spies returned, ten were fear-full and faith-less. Only two, Joshua and Caleb, believed the land was Israel’s for the taking.

17 Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them, “Go up to this desert, and go up to the mountain; 18 and you will see the land, and the people who dwell upon it. What are they? Are they strong or weak, few or many? 19 Also, what is the land they dwell in? Is it good or bad? Then too, what about the cities they inhabit? Are they walled or unwalled? 20 Then again, what about the ground? Is it fertile or neglected? Are there trees on it? Persevere, and you shall receive some of the fruits of the land.” Now the days were the days of spring, the forerunner of the grapes. 21 So they went up and spied out the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, near the entrance of Hamath. 22 Then they went up through the desert and came to Hebron; Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were there. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol and surveyed it, and cut down a branch there with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. They also brought some of the pomegranates and figs. 24 The place was called the Valley of Eshcol because of the cluster the sons of Israel cut down there.

25 Then they returned from spying out the land after forty days. 26 Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Desert of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 Then they told him and said, “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless, the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land toward the south; the Hittites, the Evites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” 30 Then Caleb quieted the people towards Moses, and said to him, “No, but let us go up at once and take possession of it, for we are well able to overcome them.” 31 But the men who went up with him said, “We are not going up, for we are unable to go up against them, because they are stronger than we.” 32 So they instilled a terror for the land which they spied out among the children of Israel, saying, “The land through which we went as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants; and we seemed like grasshoppers to them, but so we actually were.”

Numbers 13:17-33 OSB

Who do you think the masses believed? Yes, you know, it was the ten faithless spies.

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