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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

May 03 2024

Thursday May 03

Joshua the Courageous Spy


Numbers 13:30-33

30 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."

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we."

32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, "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.

33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."

Numbers 14:6-10

6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes;

7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.

8 If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.'

9 Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them."

10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.


We are looking at the early life of Joshua as he is being prepared to be the next leader of Israel to take the nation into the Promise Land. For us, the Promise Land is the place in our Christian lives where we experience daily victory by faith in our great Joshua, the Lord Jesus Christ! We first met Joshua as a slave in Egypt. In Exodus 17, we find that he is a soldier leading the army of Israel against the Amalekites. Next in Exodus 24:13, Joshua is called Moses' servant (Joshua 1:1). Today we meet Joshua as a spy in Numbers 13-14.


After the exodus from Egypt, he people of Israel spent their first eleven months near Mt. Sinai receiving the Law and building the tabernacle. Then they travel to Kadesh Barnea, on the border of the Promised Land, where God commanded Moses to appoint twelve men to spy out the land of Canaan. Joshua and Caleb were among them (Num. 13). After forty days of investigating the land, the spies returned to Moses and first reported that the land was indeed a good one (Numbers 13:25-29).


But ten of the spies began to discourage the people by saying that Israel wasn't strong enough to overcome the enemy. They gave and evil report of unbelief saying that it was “a land that devours it inhabitants… there are giants in the land and were like grasshoppers in their sight”. But two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, encouraged the people to trust God and move into the land. Sadly, the people listened to the faithless ten spies. It was this act of unbelief and rebellion that delayed the conquest of the land for forty years.


This crisis revealed some fine leadership qualities in Joshua. He was not blind to the realities of the situation, but he didn't allow the problems and difficulties to rob him of his faith in God. The ten spies looked at God through the difficulties, while Joshua and Caleb looked at the difficulties through what they knew about God.

Knowing he was right, Joshua wasn't afraid to stand up against the majority. He, Moses, and Caleb stood alone and risked their lives in so doing; but God stood with them. Joshua was a man of faith, which gave him courage, conviction, and patience.


Think of the years of blessing in the Promised Land that Joshua forfeited because the people had no faith in God! But Joshua patiently stayed with Moses and did his job, knowing that one day he and Caleb would get their promised inheritance (Num. 14:1-9). Leaders must know not only how to win victories but also how to accept defeats.


I love how Joshua reported that the giants would be “bread” for them (Numbers 14:9). God means for the difficulties and giants we face in our spiritual journey to nourish us and build up our faith and our trust in Him!


Today, we can either focus on the giants we face, or the great God we can trust! Which will it be for you!


God bless!

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