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Discovery Magazine 2/1/1992

Ten Against Two

The Israelites were once held as hostages by wicked kings of Egypt. But God sent Moses to release the people and to take them to Canaan (a land God promised to give them).

Two years after leaving Egypt, the Israelites came near the border of Canaan. Moses sent twelve spies into the land. When they returned from their mission and gave their report, ten spies said it would be impossible to take over Canaan. They claimed that the cities had walls around them, and that the people were very strong. They said that the Israelites should not try to go into Canaan.

But two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, said that the Israelites could take the land, if they believed in God, because God would help them. Caleb said, "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it" (Numbers 13:30). These two men had a strong faith in God; the ten spies did not. Sadly, the Israelites believed the ten.

Because of this lack of faith, God refused to let them go into Canaan at that time. He made them wander in the wilderness for thirty-eight years. During that time everyone twenty years old or older died, except Caleb and Joshua and their families (Numbers 14:29-30).

Just think—thirty-eight years were wasted. Why? Because the people didn't have faith in God. Of twelve spies, only two really believed in God. We should try to be like those two faithful spies, and always trust God!



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