Who Said, It Ain't So?
Numbers 13:1, 17-33
INTRODUCTION: Please notice the two contrasting reports given to Moses: Joshua and Caleb said, ''Let us go up at once, and possess it [the land]; for we are well able to overcome it.'' However, notice the response by the other 10: ''But the men that went up with him said, 'We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.  And they brought up an evil report of the land...''
To put it in the Hebrew colloquial, they said, ''It ain't so!'' ''Yes, the land is just like God said, a land flowing with milk and honey; and the grapes are as big as the giants who dwell there, but there is no way we can take this land. We are like grasshoppers in their sight.'' What they should have said was, ''We are like worms.'' On one hand, we have Joshua and Caleb demonstrating tremendous courage and faith; on the other hand, we see cowardice and faithlessness in the others.
As we look at this story this morning, I want us consider three things concerning the 12 spies:
I. Their Charge
II. Their Challenge
III. Their Complaint
I. THEIR CHARGE
''And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,  Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel.''
A. God's Permissive Will
1. Here, and in the account given in Deuteronomy One, God charged Israel to gather together 12 men, each one representing a tribe. Moses was to send them in as spies to look over the land. Keep in mind; and this is very important, it was not God's original intention for them to spy out the land. Here is an example of God's permissive will, not His perfect will. What was God's prefect will? God's perfect will was that they were to come into the Promised Land and by faith, take it from their enemies--to drive them out. In Deut. 1:8, God said, ''Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ...
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