The spies sent into Canaan

Carl Rogers, a psychologist, was 22 years old when he entered Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1924. While there, he participated in a seminar organized to explore religious doubts. Rogers later said of the group, “The majority of thinking their way thr … More


God delivered His people from Egypt that they might enter the promised land and enjoy the blessings prepared for them. He had promised the land to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen. 12:7; 13:15). He even reminded the people of this promise when they broke camp at Sinai (Duet. 1:6-8) and when they arrived at Kadesh (vv. 20,21). God’s promise was all they needed but they doubted God’s Word and began to walk by sight instead of by faith.

The Israelites took their first wavering step of doubt when they asked Moses to let them search out the land before they entered (Duet. 1:22). Twelve spies, a group representing all the tribes were chosen and their trip of 40 days took them 500 miles, from the wilderness of Zin in the south to the entrance of Hamath in the far north but they discovered nothing that God hadn’t already told them (vv. 1-25). At the end of this 40 days ten of the spies came back with a twofold report:

  1. The land is very fruitful (v. 27) as demonstrated by the large clusters of grapes, pomegranates and figs, they brought back.
  2. The land is overrun by giants and the cities are large and fortified.

 By the time they finished their report, the people were beginning to catch the spirit of defeatism. Ten of the spies concluded that a conquest of the land was impossible. Only Caleb and Joshua recommended that they go in and possess the land.


Just as in the case of these spies, when my eyes are upon myself and my circumstances, I will lose perspective and say and do ridiculous things. Doubt is serious because it challenges the character of God and rebels against the will of God. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:6).

Numbers 13:1-33 (English Standard Version)

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