Lesson 58: The Twelve Spies
God was now ready for the children of Israel to go into the promised land. This was the land that God had said the Israelites would live in. God had told them it was a land flowing with milk and honey; that meant that it was a good land where they could grow lots of food and fruit.
Do you think the Israelites were ready to go into the land to take it for themselves? No, they were not ready. They were afraid. They wanted to send spies into the land first. They wanted the spies to see how strong the cities were and to see if the people living there were strong, too. Moses chose twelve spies, one from each tribe of the Israelites. Two of the spies were Caleb and Joshua.
The twelve spies returned after searching the land for forty days. They told the Israelites that it was a good land. They brought back very good fruit to show the Israelites. Ten of the spies said they were afraid to go in and take the land. They said the cities had big walls and that giants, men who were big and tall, lived in the land. The other two spies, Caleb and Joshua, said they should not be afraid. They said they could take the land, because Caleb and Joshua trusted in God and knew that God would be with them (Numbers 14:6-10).
The Israelites believed the report of the ten spies. They did not have enough faith in God. They complained to Moses and told him they did not want to take the land. This made God very angry and as a result, He punished them by sending them back to the wilderness for forty years. Of the men living at that time, only Caleb and Joshua were allowed to enter the promised land forty years later.
- How many spies were sent to spy the land?
- What did the ten spies say about the promised land?
- What did Caleb and Joshua say about the promised land?
- What was God's punishment on the children of Israel for not going into the land?
- Why was Caleb and Joshua allowed to enter the land after forty years in the wilderness?