The theme of today’s reading is the power of an evil report. First of all, the report of the ten spies did not become an evil report until they flatly contradicted Caleb and Joshua’s encouragement that Israel was well able to possess the land (Num 13:30-33). It was an evil report, because while it might have been true that Israel was not able to enter the land and possess it on their own, they were not on their own. The LORD was with them, and they were going in at His command and direction. Therefore it was not merely evil, but also false (“You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness;” Exo 23:1).
Important truths that are revealed in today’s reading:
False or evil reports contain elements of truth to make them seem believable. The mixture of truth with falsehood makes them false (Num 13:31);
When one fears man, he is not fearing God, which leads to rebellion (Num 14:9);
The saved who are in covenant with God can walk in unbelief and rebellion just as much as the unsaved (Num 14:11);
Unbelief in God’s promise (belief in an evil report) = rejection of God (Num 14:11);
Complaints test the LORD (Num 14:22);
Complaints reveal an evil heart (Num 14:27).
Israel did not have a cake walk to inherit their promise. Just because the LORD promised them something, did not mean that it would be handed to them on a silver platter. Since leaving Egypt, they were challenged with enemies, apparent lack of provision, delays, and other obstacles which tested their faith and belief in the LORD. The LORD already had deliverance and provision and answers waiting for them – just waiting for them to ask Him to meet their need.
More often than not, however, their response to their challenges and trials were complaints rather than requests! Those complaints tested the LORD, until He finally gave them the evil thing that they kept saying would happen with their mouths. They perished in the wilderness, something they had been predicting would happen since Exo 14! They did not inherit their promise, because of an evil, complaining heart which revealed unbelief (Heb 3:16-19)
Beloved, let us examine ourselves, and repent of complaints which cover over a rebellious heart of unbelief, and instead make our requests known to God, and give thanks to Him in all things, for He is good, He does good, and He gives good gifts! Our trials are an opportunity to see the LORD do wonders for us on our behalf!
For further study: Israel tested the LORD ten times. Can you find the ten opportunities Israel had to give thanks to God in the midst of a trial? Study their ten challenges, their ten responses, and the LORD’s ten deliverances or provisions or responses. Apply to your own life what Scripture reveals.
These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Jehoshua. Num 13:16 KJV
There is no “j” in Hebrew. Jehoshua or Joshua, is in Hebrew, Yehoshua or Yeshua. The name means, salvation, or, Jehovah is my salvation. Yes, this is the same name that Joseph was told to name Mary’s son when He was born. Joshua has been emerging as a type of Messiah, in the same vein as Joseph – the second in command, always faithful to the LORD regardless of the situation.