The Return of the Spies

“Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.’”

— Numbers 13:30

Have you ever faced a daunting task, one that looked not even remotely feasible? At times like this, God, who can do the impossible, wants us to have faith in His presence and in His ability to see us through.

The ancient Israelites serve as an excellent example of what not to do under pressure. Faced with an overwhelming task, they failed to respond in faith. Moses had just sent twelve spies (one representative from each tribe) into the land to spy it out and bring back intelligence reports concerning the nature and strength of their adversaries. After some days, the spies returned from their trip throughout Canaan. They gave two reports: the majority report given by ten and the minority report given by two, Joshua and Caleb.

The majority report said: “It [the land] truly flows with milk and honey . . . Nevertheless the people who dwell there are strong; the cities are fortified.” Upon hearing that, Caleb could not restrain himself. He had heard enough negative nonsense. He leaped to his feet and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” But the ten other spies shot back: “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.” Then the people’s hearts melted within them; all night they “raised their voices and wept aloud.” Joshua and Caleb submitted the minority report, reminding the Israelites that with God’s help, they could take the land. But the people wouldn’t listen. These two men were the only ones with faith in God. And they became the only ones from that generation who eventually entered the Promised Land.

These two men based their faith on God’s promises. That’s how they overcame their fears and fought to enter the Promised Land. We need to do the same thing. When circumstances overwhelm you and the task at hand is daunting, place your full faith in God and trust that He will deliver you into your promised land.

“With God, go over the sea—without
Him, not over the threshold.”
Russian Proverb