God said to Moses, "Choose a man from each tribe of Israel, then send them to explore the land of Canaan. For I will give you this land." So Moses picked twelve men, and they set off.
They soon discovered Canaan was a ]and flowing with milk and honey! It was much better than the desert wilderness they had been traveling through for many years. The men found many delicious fruits to bring back. It took two men just to carry one gigantic cluster of grapes!
After forty days, the explorers returned to report on Canaan. "It's a great place!" some said. "There's lots of food. But the people who live there are powerful, and their cities are huge, with strong walls all around—"
"Wait!" cried an explorer named Caleb. "You're getting it all wrong! God has already promised to give us Canaan. We just need to go in and get what is ours." But already the Israelites were grumbling again.
An explorer named Joshua cried out, "Listen to Caleb! That land flows with milk and honey. God wants us to have it and He will give it to us. Just have faith!"
But it was too late. The Israelites wereangry
and refused to listen. Instead they complained, "It was better in Egypt. Maybe we should go back there."
God was sad when He saw how they turned against Him after all the miracles He had done. Why would they doubt Him now? Where was their faith?
"I will forgive them," God told Moses. "But no one who doubted will set one foot into Canaan."
When Moses told the people what God had said, they were sorry. They started to walk toward Canaan, thinking that they could still have that land. "It's too late now," warned Moses. "God gave you your chance and you doubted Him. If you go to Canaan, you will die.
God Does Not Play Games
Our patient God never quits loving his people. He mercifully forgives us again and again. But when his peple refuse to trust and obey him, the Lord allows them to go their own way ... which always leads to destruction.
God forgave the Israelites when Moses prayed for them, but that did not change the conseuences of their sin. They had refused to trust him one time too many. Of the more than 600,000 men who came out of egypt, only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to entered Canaan.
Today we must be careful about presuming the LORD would be kind. If God has disciplines us for our sins, we should learn from our mistakes and recommit themslves to trusting God for a great future.