March 14
Numbers 13:1-2, 25-31

The spies

At this stage, the Israelites were very close to Canaan—the land the Lord had promised them.

The Lord said to Moses, “Choose a leader from each of the twelve tribes and send them as spies into the land of Canaan.” So Moses did what the Lord said and chose twelve spies. He told them to find out what the country was like, how many people lived there, and how strong they were. Then he sent them to go spy out the land.

After forty days, the spies came back carrying large bunches of grapes and other fruit. They told Moses that there were cities with high walls and very big people living there. Of the twelve spies, only Joshua and Caleb trusted God and said that they had nothing to fear because God was on their side.

If God can see everywhere, why does He need spies?

God did not need spies in order to get information about the people or the land He had created and cared for. God knew exactly how many grains of sand were in the Promised Land and how many hairs were on the head of each person living there. If God did not need to find out more about the people there, why did He tell Moses to send spies to go find out about them? Do you think that Moses and the others needed to know what they were up against?

God wanted to see whether the Israelites believed that He was able to give them what He had promised. From what the spies said, the Israelites knew that the future would not be easy. Would they trust God enough to face the challenge of conquering the land? Joshua and Caleb passed the test of faith by trusting God; the other spies failed and caused the whole nation to doubt God.

Verse for today

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart. Deuteronomy 8:2