Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spies in the Promised Land

By Mary Vee
Numbers 13:1-22

Caleb's Thoughts

The Lord led us north to the Wilderness of Paran. We had to be near the Promised Land. 

My father had told me Promised Land stories passed down to him and his father from Judah, the leader of our tribe. He said the land give everyone of our people plenty of milk, honey, pastureland, building supplies, and any thing else we'd need to live a great life.

We hadn't camped in the Wilderness long before Moses ask to meet with the family leaders. I joined Shammua, Shaphat, Igal, Joshua, Palti, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Ammiel, Sethur, Nahbi, and Guel at the meeting place.

Moses invited us into the tent. I thought he'd be tired after the journey, but he had a bounce in his step and an adventure look on his face. He leaned forward on his staff. "Men, the Lord has called you to spy out the land known as the Promised Land." 

"Now! We finally get to go?" We raised our fists high in the air and cheered.  Joshua slapped me on the back. "There you see now, my friend, I told you."

"Told me what?" 

He laughed. "I told you we'd go into the Promised Land soon."

"You did not."

Moses raised his hands to quiet us. "Men, you are to go into the South up to the mountains to see
if the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many;
if the land is good or bad; 
whether the cities are like camps or strongholds; 
whether the land is rich or poor; 
and whether there are forests or not.  
Be of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land."
We are all excited to hear your report.

The next morning we grabbed weapons and enough food to last until we crossed the border; we'd survive off the land afterwords. I couldn't wait to see our new homeland.

We moved up through the South toward the mountains, never seen by the Canaanites.The hills and valley had soft green grass. Wheat and barley crops with healthy plants lined the countryside. Rich cities with strong walls bustled with business.To think, with the Lord's help, this would soon be our land.

Each night the twelve of us talked about what we saw. Ten of the men grumbled more each time. Shammua complained, "We can't conquer these people. They're taller than us."

Shaphat shook his head, "We're like grasshoppers to them. They'll squash us before we raise our weapons." 

They all had complaints.They grumbled louder with every word. I couldn't take it any more. "Look, the Lord will take care of us.  He'll win the battles. You see the vineyards, wheat and barley, and cities, don't you?  We'll grow crops and raise our children in this wonderful place. Don't back out now."

Ammiel rolled his eyes. "We'll never win a battle against these giants. Then what will you do, Caleb? How will you save you family? Go ahead and try to grow your crops with them looking over you, waiting for the right moment to steal your land back and turn your loved ones into slaves." He pushed his hand toward me. "Not me. I'll keep my family safe--far from here."

Joshua leaned forward. "What's the matter with you? How can you say we won't conquer this land.Have you forgotten the plagues in Egypt, and the Red Sea?  Think about it, my brothers. The Lord has given us this land. All we have to do is take it."

Gaddie picked up a stone and tossed it into the fire. "The plagues and the Red Sea are in the past, Joshua. You and Caleb are out to get us all killed. I vote no."

Joshua and I only had a few nights left to convince them.

Sometimes we become afraid when God gives us difficult things to do. Will Caleb and Joshua convince the ten men to change their minds? Come back next week to see what happens.

1. What did Moses tell the spies to do?
2. Why were these men chosen to be the spies?
3. Why were the ten spies afraid?
4. What did the men see in the Promised Land?
5. What did Caleb and Joshua want to do?

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