This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Numbers 13:1-14:45, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.
Once upon a time, God spoke to Moses and asked him to send some men to spy out the land of Canaan. God was giving this land to the Israelites, and He wanted them to know more about it before they arrived. Moses chose one man from each tribe to go on this mission. They traveled for forty days and collected fruits from the land.
The twelve spies saw that the land of Canaan was full of good things. They saw beautiful mountains and valleys, and the land was full of grapes, figs, and pomegranates. They also saw people living in the land, and some of them were very tall and strong. The spies even saw the descendants of Anak, who were giants.
When the spies returned, they told Moses and the Israelites what they had seen. They said that the land was indeed good, but the people living there were very strong and the cities were fortified. The Israelites were afraid and didn’t want to go to the land. They said it would be better if they went back to Egypt. Caleb and Joshua, two of the spies, told the people that they could conquer the land with God’s help. Caleb quieted the people before Moses by saying, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”
But the other ten spies did not believe that the Israelites could conquer the land, and they gave a bad report to the people. They said that the land was full of giants, and the people living there were too strong. The Israelites believed the bad report, and they rebelled against Moses and God. They even talked about choosing a new leader and going back to Egypt.
Moses interceded for the people, asking God to forgive them and not to destroy them. He reminded God of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give their descendants the land of Canaan. God promised to pardon the people, but because of their lack of faith, they would have to wander in the wilderness for forty years and only their children would enter the promised land. The men who had given a bad report died by a plague, except for Joshua and Caleb, who had faith in God.
Later, when the Israelites tried to enter the promised land, they were defeated in battle by the Amalekites and Canaanites. This was because they had disobeyed God and had not trusted in Him. God did not go with them into battle because they had turned away from Him. The Israelites realized their mistake and mourned, but it was too late. They had to wander in the wilderness for forty years before entering the promised land.
- God wants us to trust Him and have faith that He will provide for us.
- Disobeying God can have serious consequences.