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  The Great Bible Story #38
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Israel makes a choice

Jacob Ninan
When the people of Israel were nearing the Promised Land of Canaan, they decided to send some spies into the land to get a report of the place and the people there. So God asked Moses to choose twelve men, one from each tribe, to go out as spies. These men went and they were very impressed with what they saw as the produce of the land. In fact they brought back a single cluster of grapes which needed two men to carry between them on a pole! All twelve agreed that it was indeed a 'land flowing with milk and honey' just as God had promised. But ten of the spies reported that there were some giants in the land before whom they looked like grasshoppers. The sight of these giants took away all their boldness, and they tried to dissuade the people not to venture into Canaan. But the other two spies, Joshua and Caleb, were different. They put their faith in God who had made the promise and said that God would take them into the land, and these giants they had seen there would become like bread before Israel.

The people of Israel were confused. Even though they had started out from Egypt hoping to get into Canaan, the thought of the giants destroyed their faith. They became angry with Moses and Aaron for putting them into this predicament, and they wanted to find some leaders who would take them back to Egypt. Joshua and Caleb did their best to persuade the people to follow God, but the people became so angry that they wanted to stone them.

At this point the glory of God appeared in front of the tabernacle, and God spoke to Moses. He was so angry with the people that He wanted to destroy them right there and lead Moses to become a great nation. Once again Moses pleaded for the people and reminded God about His promise and what other nations would think about Him.

God agreed to spare them. But He decided that all the people who were twenty years or older, who had seen all the marvellous works of deliverance that He had done for them and yet refused to believe in Him, would not be able to enter the Promised Land. Now they would have to wander around in the desert for forty years till they all died. But He mentioned that Joshua and Caleb would surely be able to enter.

The people suddenly changed their mind and decided to go in to Canaan anyway. But they got defeated by the Canaanites and had to come back in defeat.

This teaches us that it is not enough to start out in faith, but we also need to continue in faith till the end.


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Comfort & Counsel