The Regnal Chronology of Judah: An Illustrated Guide by Chris McKinny
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“They (spies) brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit (the cluster - see below). However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan.” (Numbers 13:26-29 ESV)
|Two Israelite spies carrying a grape cluster (eshkol) from the area of Hebron to Kadesh-barnea, in order to show the wealth of the land|
But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” (Numbers 13:30–33 ESV)Caleb's report, unlike that of the 10 spies, took into account the faithfulness of God as revealed through the miraculous salvation of Israel from Egypt and the ongoing physical sustenance of Israel by the direct, visible presence of God's Spirit (via the cloud/pillar of fire). Therefore, Caleb's suggested plan to attack was influenced by both the truth of the obstacles in their path (i.e. the Canaanites) and the reality of God's supremacy over these obstacles. Unlike his peers, Caleb's wisdom was "from above" (James 3:17) and his report was based on both the promise and faithfulness of God that he had witnessed with his very own eyes. This is the crux of the matter - do we trust in the physical, natural wisdom of the world and its assumed end-results or do we presently trust in the providential care and promise of God who has acted in the past and will continue to act in the future.
For Yahweh spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Yahweh of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken. (Isaiah 8:11–15 ESV)
“They have turned to me their back and not their face. And though I have taught them persistently, they have not listened to receive instruction. They set up their abominations in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” (Jeremiah 32:33–35 ESV)
“With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:6–8 ESV)
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NAS95)