History repeats itself – the ten spies and their bad report

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on David’s Tent, a ministry of Israeli believers Avner and Rachel Boskey. The Boskey’s have ministered at Tabernacle of David, and we consider them trustworthy and Biblically sound.

Saul of Tarsus – better known as Paul the Apostle – helps us in knowing how to apply principles in the Hebrew Scriptures to our own lives: “Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they indeed craved them . . . Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let the one who thinks he stands watch out that he does not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:6-12).


A burningly relevant example for us is found in the story of the Twelve Spies found in the Book of Joshua:


  • Then YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, “Send out men for yourself to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of their fathers’ tribes – every one a leader among them.” So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran at the command of YHVH, all of them men who were heads of the sons of Israel.  (Numbers 13:1-3)


  • When Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, he said to them, “Go up there into the Negev; then go up into the hill country. See what the land is like, and whether the people who live in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many. And how is the land in which they live, is it good or bad? And how are the cities in which they live, are the people in open camps or in fortifications? And how is the land, is it productive or unproductive? Are there trees in it or not? And show yourselves courageous and get some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes. So they went up and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin as far as Rehov, at Levo Hamat. (Numbers 13:17–21)


  • When they returned from spying out the land, at the end of forty days, they went on and came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, in the wilderness of Paran at Kadesh; and they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. So they reported to him and said, “We came into the land where you sent us, and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And indeed, we saw the descendants of Anak there! Amalek is living in the land of the Negev, the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites are living in the hill country, and the Canaanites are living by the sea and by the side of the Jordan” (Numbers 13:25-29)


  • Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will certainly prevail over it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, because they are too strong for us.” So they brought a bad report of the land which they had spied out to the sons of Israel, saying, “The land through which we have gone to spy out is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are people of great stature. We also saw the Nephilim there (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:30–33)


  • Then all the congregation raised their voices and cried out, and the people wept that night. And all the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. And the entire congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or even if we had died in this wilderness! So why is YHVH bringing us into this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder! Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and return to Egypt!” (Numbers 14:1-4)


  • Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in the presence of all the assembly of the congregation of the sons of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun and Calev the son of Yefuneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes. And they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If YHVH is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us – a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against YHVH. And do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection is gone from them, and YHVH is with us; do not fear them.” But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the Glory of YHVH appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel. And YHVH said to Moses, “How long will this people be disrespectful to Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs that I have performed in their midst?” (Numbers 14:5–11)


  • “Certainly all the people who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who were disrespectful to Me see it. But as for My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring him into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it” (Numbers 14:22-24)



The bad report of The Ten – rebellion against God and fear of the enemy


YHVH the God of Israel commanded Joshua to send out twelve spies – one for each tribe – on a special operation. They were to spy out the Promised Land in preparation for Israel’s invasion and settlement of that entire land. YHVH had commanded Moses and the Jewish people to conquer and remove all who were temporarily occupying that land – Canaanites, Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites Amorites, etc. The spies started their journey from beside the present Egyptian border just south of Gaza (the wilderness of Zin – see Numbers 20:1; 27:14; 33:36; 34:3-4; Joshua 15:1-3) and moved east, all the way to the Salt Sea (today called ‘the Dead Sea’). They then headed straight north, passing the Lake of Galilee and Mount Hermon (see Joshua 13:5; Judges 3:3; 1 Chronicles 13:5) up to Levo Hamat (near Baalbek in present-day Syria) on the Orontes River (1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 14:25). The biblical borders of the Promised Land include this section of modern Syria, as well as segments of present-day Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. Ezekiel 48:1 notes that Levo Hamat will also be part of the millennial borders of the Messianic Jewish kingdom.


The spies came back with glowing reports about the fruitfulness of the land (‘an exceedingly good land’), as well as accurate information on the enemies’ military installations and infantry which the armies of YHVH (see 1 Samuel 17:26) would soon confront. This first part of their report was helpful and based on good intelligence; it was not ‘fake news.’ But ten of the twelve spies added another perspective – their own personal opinion that the God of Israel lacked wisdom and military sense in sending the Jewish people in to conquer and possess the Promised Land.


Caleb and Joshua (the two good spies) declared that God’s calling and assignment was realistically attainable – that the ten Canaanite tribes (see Genesis 15:19-20) were bereft of YHVH’s protection, and that, instead, YHVH was with the people of Israel, and that the God of Jacob would bring His promises to pass regarding the Jewish homeland. But the other ten spies reported ‘the news’ differently: the Canaanite tribes were too strong – the Israelites would never be able to defeat them – indeed, the Canaanites “are a people of great stature.” The ten spies’ bad report declared that the Jewish people “are like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we are in the {Canaanite’s] sight.” The Ten added that the Land of Canaan would only bring a curse on the Israelites: “This is a land that devours its inhabitants!”


What was the effect of this bad report on the Jewish people? The entire nation cried out and wept. Then they grumbled against their leaders Moses and Aaron. They declared that it would have been better for all Israel to have remained slaves in Egypt or even to die in the desert rather than to follow Moses and Aaron. They ‘prophesied’ that the Canaanites would murder them all and kidnap their wives and children, if they foolishly held onto YHVH’s promise of trying to claim and hold onto the Promised Land. They then held a public rally and proclaimed that Israel needed to choose a new leader – in modern terminology, they called for new elections.


  • Joshua and Caleb pushed back forcefully. They declared that the response of the majority of the Jewish people was based both on fear of the enemy and rebellion against the leadership and character of YHVH. The God of Jacob added two other points: the majority of the Jewish people were behaving disrespectfully to YHVH Himself, and they were not believing in His good character or in His amazing promises. Their unbelieving and disrespectful heart invalidated that generation from entering into the Promised Land. Another generation would step up to the plate and conquer the Land.



Spiritual warfare and the evening news


As it was in the days of Joshua, so it is in our day. Messages of unbelief – that the Israeli armed forces will not be able to defeat the enemy (in this case the Islamist savages, rapists, murderers and kidnappers known as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority’s al-Aqsa Brigades) – flow like a polluted river from US spokesmen and American talking heads like Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, his deputy, POTUS Joe Biden, National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. On the Israeli side, there are also ‘ten spies’ who bring similar evil reports of unbelief. These include political enemies of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his coalition (some of these ‘spies’ possess intelligence, military and political credentials). These ‘Ten’ resolutely declare that Israel cannot defeat Hamas. They warn that Israel’s decision to enter Rafah in southwestern Gaza will only bring a defeat for Israel. They repeatedly proclaim that the PM is crazy and that new elections are immediately needed. They insist that Israel’s PM cannot be trusted in matters of security. Like Korah, Datan, Aviram and On (along with “250 leaders of the congregation chosen in the assembly, men of renown”), they repeated announce to Israel’s leadership “You have gone far enough!” (Numbers 16:1-3).


One of Israel’s top intelligence journalists and strategic affairs correspondents is Yossi Melman. On July 20, 2023 he wrote an analysis in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz: “A Military Coup Is Underway in Israel – and It’s Completely Justified:”


  • “A military coup is underway in Israel. This is the unvarnished truth. At the same time, there is an attempt to play with words in order to avoid looking the reality in the eye. The rebels and their supporters are employing euphemisms and resorting to linguistic acrobatics rather than stating unequivocally that there is insubordination . . .  It’s more comfortable for all involved not to explicitly use the phrase ‘military coup,’ but if the issue is to be effectively addressed, the reality must be faced head-on and called by its rightful name . . .  [This] is a military coup for the sake of democracy.”


Top British journalist Melanie Phillips states that “we owe Ha’aretz a debt of gratitude for tearing aside at least one of the veils of obfuscation to call this crisis out for what it is – a military coup.”



“You shall not give a false report!”


The spreading of false or evil reports is nothing new. In the Book of Exodus, the God of Israel warns His people to stay far away from mass movements which, knowingly or unwittingly, pervert justice and stir up evil: “You shall not give a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked person to be a malicious witness. You shall not follow the crowd in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to join together with a crowd in order to pervert justice” (Exodus 23:1-2).


Another variation of this dynamic occurred in the days of Nehemiah, when he struggled to counteract evil reports brought by false prophets. The evil goals in this case were to strike fear into the hearts of Israel’s returning pioneers and cause them to abandon the struggle for national restoration, both spiritual and physical:


  • Then I realized that God certainly had not sent him, but he uttered his prophecy against me because Tuvya and Sanballat had hired him. He was hired for this reason, that I would become frightened and act accordingly and sin, so that they might have an evil report in order that they could taunt me. Remember, my God, Tuvya and Sanballat in accordance with these works of theirs, and also No’ad-Yah the prophetess and the rest of the prophets, who were trying to frighten me (Nehemiah 6:12-14; see also Joshua 2:11; 7:5)


Today, many of the bearers of false prophecy are seated at the news desks of mainstream TV media, both in Israel and around the world. And many of the bearers of malicious witness are the writers of op-ed columns found in the most respected prize-winning newspapers which present ‘all the news that’s fit to print.’ We must all be cautious and careful when drinking from the wells of anti-Israel and anti-Christian news media. The best gold is never found on the surface of the earth!



Promises, promises – peace, peace – PLO, PLO


Over 2,600 years ago the prophet Ezekiel spoke of YHVH’s wrath against “the prophets of Israel who prophesy to Jerusalem, and who see a vision of peace for her when there is no peace” (Ezekiel 13:16). The God of Jacob soberly warned those leaders: “It is definitely because they have misled My people by saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace. And when anyone builds a wall, behold, they plaster it over with whitewash. So tell those who plaster it over with whitewash, that it will fall” (Ezekiel 13:10-11).


Just before the destruction of Solomon’s Temple at the hands of Babylon, Jeremiah repeated the same prophetic warning with tears: “They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ But there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14).


Today, false declarations of peace and false roadmaps to peace abound. They are sprayed across the screens of our TV screens by the spokesmen and spokeswomen of superpowers without the slightest hint of accountability. These false news items and evil reports soon crumble before our very eyes:


  • On October 16, 2023, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken declared “If Hamas in any way blocks humanitarian assistance from reaching civilians, including by seizing the aid itself, we’ll be the first to condemn it. And we will work to prevent it from happening again.”


  • At an impromptu press conference at Ramstein Airbase in Germany on October 18, 2023, President Biden stated: “But . . .  the point being that if . . . Hamas confiscates [the aid] or doesn’t let it get through or just confiscates it, then it’s going to end, because we’re not going to be sending any humanitarian aid to Hamas if they’re going to be confiscating it.  That’s the commitment that I’ve made . . . I was very blunt [with the Israelis] about the need to support getting humanitarian aid to Gaza – get it to Gaza and do it quickly.”


  • In a November 18, 2023 Washington Post op-ed, President Biden stated: “As we strive for peace, Gaza and the West Bank should be reunited under a single governance structure, ultimately under a revitalized Palestinian Authority, as we all work toward a two-state solution.”


Repeated evidence of Hamas theft of humanitarian aid has piled up since Blinken’s and Biden’s bold declarations: here (December 11, 2023), here (February 3, 2024), here (February 17, 2024), here (March 19, 2024), here (April 22, 2024), here (May 3, 2024), here (May 3, 2024) and here (May 30, 2024). Yet no action has been taken by the strongest superpower on earth – only the empty echoes of false peace murmur across the sands of Gaza.



Lying like a rug


The main talking points of politicians, diplomats and Hamas have all been converging over the past eight months. From their declarations, white is black and black is white:


  • Hamas carried out the greatest mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust on October 7, 2023, but the PC declarations heard today state that Zionism and the IDF are the ones guilty of massacre and genocide


  • Hamas is imprisoning, raping, starving and murdering Israeli captives, but it is Israel whom the world media holds guilty of withholding humanitarian aid to Hamas terrorists


  • Hamas aims its rockets at Israeli towns, villages and kibbutzim, but it is Israel which is being brought before the International Court of Justice for war crimes


  • Hamas is attempting to cause Israeli civilian casualties as well as Palestinian civilian casualties (since its rocket launchers are located right in the middle of Gazan cities), but it is Israel which is accused by Hamas, the UK, France, the US, etc., of causing Gazan civilian casualties, even though it is doing more than any other world army to avoid such collateral damage


A world-renowned military expert shares some wisdom here regarding Israel’s military track record and civilian casualties. Colonel Richard Kemp is a former British Army Commander of UK military forces in Afghanistan (leading Operation Fingal in Afghanistan from July to November 2003), Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia. He served with NATO and the UN, and participated in the Gulf War in Iraq. He is a consultant on international terrorism for the UK Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee, where he wrote the British forces doctrine on dealing with suicide bombings. Colonel Kemp recently addressed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committeestating that “no army in the world acts with as much discretion and great care as the IDF in order to minimize damage. The US and the UK are careful, but not as much as Israel.”


As the nations of the world champ impatiently at the bit to overthrow Israel’s present government and to set up another one more responsive to American diktats, the baying of the hounds gets closer. Mighty nations are calling for portions of the land promised by YHVH to Jacob’s children, to be divided among Ishmael’s and Esau’s descendants. This is in gross violation of Genesis 25:6, 18; 27:29; 36:6-9. 43; Deuteronomy 2 and Joshua 24:4). YHVH surely promises judgment on those nations who set their hand to divide the land of Israel (Joel 3:2)



How should we then pray?


  • Pray for revelation to be given to believers and to the world about how the news media is lying and distorting in its reporting about Israel and the Middle East


  • Pray for those deceived, to be given clear waters of revelatory truth about the Islamist anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and anti-Western agendas


  • Pray for the physical rescue of the approximately 129 Israeli hostages (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PFLP/PLO.  At this moment some hostages are being tortured, raped and starved (this based on testimonies of recently released hostages). Sadly, many of these hostages are dead; Hamas is holding on to the corpses of Israeli citizens in cold storage to be used by them as bargaining chips


  • Pray for Hamas’ cruel terror dictatorship in Gaza to be decisively shattered and for all chains broken off the Palestinians living there, and for Iran’s role in jihadi deception, dissimulation and anti-Semitism to be exposed and opposed by world leaders


  • Pray that Israel’s leadership be granted justice, clarity, moral courage, discernment and divine strategies in utterly destroying the jihadi threat in all of its aspects, and for minimal loss of life for Israel’s defense forces and for those Gazans who are truly innocent


  • Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth


Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.

In Messiah Yeshua,

Avner Boskey


Donations can be sent to:


BOX 121971 NASHVILLE TN 37212 – 1971 USA

Donations can also be made on-line (by PayPal) through: www.davidstent.org 

The post History repeats itself – the ten spies and their bad report appeared first on David's Tent.

Read more…

Comments are closed.