In my last blog post on Numbers chapter 13 we read about the 12 spies chosen to scout out the promised land. Today we are going to read the instructions Moses gives the 12 men and what information was needed before the people could enter the Promised Land. Moses took careful steps to get that information.
Let’s read Numbers 13:17-20 together.
Before Moses sent them into Canaan, he said:
After you go through the Southern Desert of Canaan, continue north into the hill country and find out what those regions are like. Be sure to remember how many people live there, how strong they are, and if they live in open towns or walled cities. See if the land is good for growing crops and find out what kinds of trees grow there. It’s time for grapes to ripen, so try to bring back some of the fruit that grows there.
So the scouts were to check out the people, the land, the towns, and see if there are wooded areas, and see how well things grow in the soil.
Most of the great Hebrew sages agree that this was all about things like climate, the fertility of the ground, and the availability (or not) of natural resources. Whether the people of Canaan were fierce warriors was not the issue as far as Moses was concerned, though certainly, it was important to know under any circumstances.
After all under no circumstances were the Canaanites going to be thrilled when 3 million Hebrews showed up with an eviction notice.
And we’re given the season in which this scouting mission happened: the time of the first grape ripening, which means it was in the summer, in the July/August timeframe. It was going to be HOT going through the Negev.
Remember: When you are making decisions or assuming new responsibilities, remember these two important steps. Ask yourself what you need to know about the opportunity and then obtain that knowledge.
Common sense is a valuable aid in accomplishing God’s purposes.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others. ~ Proverbs 12:15 (NLT)
Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success. ~ Proverbs 15:22
People with tunnel vision – those locked into one way of thinking – are likely to miss the right road because they have closed their minds to any new options. We need the help of those who can enlarge our vision and broaden our perspective. Seek out the advice of those who know you and have a wealth of experience. Build a network of advisers. Then be open to new ideas, and be willing to weigh their suggestions carefully. Your plans will be stronger and more likely to succeed.
NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible