Deuteronomy 1:19 And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us; and we came to Kadeshbarnea.
20 And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us.
21 Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
22 And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.
23 And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe:
24 And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.
25 And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us.
26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:
27 And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.
29 Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.
30 The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;
31 And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.
32 Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,
As Moses recounted Israel’s time in the wilderness, he reminded God’s people of the reasons for their failure to enter into the land of promise. He rehearsed how it was the people who approached him requesting that spies first be sent into the land to explore it. If the people had trusted God, surveying the land would have been unnecessary. Yet, the people doubted God’s provisions so Moses sent in the spies. When they returned, they expressed stories of giants and walled cities that made the people fear to carry out God’s will. The spies’ report “discouraged” (Deuteronomy 1:28) the hearts of the people. This loss of courage yielded an unbelief in the people (Deuteronomy 1:32), greatly displeasing the Lord (Hebrews 3:17-19).
- (For children): God created the world and everything in it by simply speaking it into existence. Do you believe that He is powerful enough to help you do what He wants you to do?
- (For everyone): Do you struggle with being courageous? Do you wish you could better understand the reason for this weakness? Start by evaluating your faith in God’s word.
- Our passage shows that if Israel had trusted God, they would not have needed spies. Are there some things that you can recall that would be different in your life if you had simply trusted God? Has your lack of faith ever produced a lack of courage?
- Ask God to help you avoid the evil sin of unbelief.
- Ask God to surround you with people who believe and trust in His word. Pray that God will give you strength to believe even when others choose not to believe.