These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua. (Numbers 13:16)
There was a lot of excitement and anticipation as the nation of Israel drew near the land of Canaan. Surviving the brutal bondage of Egypt, the Hebrews had escaped by the power of God and became a nation with allegiance to the one true God. At Sinai the people were given a law that would define their nation. Enemies fell before them as the Lord showed His power upon all those that opposed the apple of His eye. The people experienced the blessings of God as he fed them with manna, quail and all the water they needed. Standing on the verge of a land flowing with milk and honey, Israel was ready to receive the land promised by the Lord.
The Lord spoke to Moses and told him to send men to spy out the land of Canaan. This would be a test for the people because the Lord had told them He was giving them the land. God knew what kind of people were there. He knew their defenses and weaknesses. The giants in the land were no match for the army of God because He fought for them. Just a few months earlier they had defeated Amalek under the leadership of Joshua. Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of a hill and while Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed. Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Conquering the people of Canaan would be accomplished through that same power that delivered them from the armies of Egypt and Amalek.
Twelve leaders among the people were chosen. These were the men who were looked to for their wisdom, faith and courage. Each tribe picked one man they considered to be a leader and sent them into Canaan. All of them were heads of the children of Israel. For forty days the spies wandered the land collecting information about the people, the cities and the crops. When they returned to Moses and the people they praised the land as a place flowing with milk and honey and an abundance of fruit. There was no land like it in the world. However they saw the cities as too large and the descendants of the giant Anak living in the land. Fear gripped the hearts of ten men declaring to the people conquering the land was impossible. They could only see what their eyes could see without faith in God’s power. Troubling the people the ten men convinced Israel to abandon the plans of entering the land promised them by God. Only two of the spies – Joshua and Caleb – believed the victory was theirs. Forty years later only these two men would cross the Jordan and conquer the land by the mighty power of the Lord.
Do you remember the names of the ten spies who troubled the people? Each tribe sent a man who was a leader among them; those who were heads of the children of Israel. Rarely does anyone remember Shammua, Shaphat, Igal, Palti, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Ammiel, Sethur, Nahbi and Geuel. These men are not remembered because they did not remember the power of God. Lost in the dust of history ten leaders are forgotten and dismissed because they did not believe in what God had promised the people since leaving Egypt. All twelve of the spies had seen the glory of God and the signs which He did in Egypt and in the wilderness. The ten spies who rejected the Lord died by the plague before the Lord. Only Joshua and Caleb are remembered because of their faith in the promises of God.
There is a book that God has called the Book of Life. Contained on its sacred pages are the names of the faithful. These are the names of those who will be remembered in the final judgment as the saved. Some names were in the Book of Life at one time but were blotted out because of unbelief. Many names were never added to the Book of Life because they never believed in the glory and power of God. When all men gather before the great throne of the Lord God Creator the only thing that will be on their minds is whether their names are remembered. Salvation will only be given to those names that are remembered like Joshua and Caleb. Your name will be called one day. Is it a name that will be retained in the Book of Life or will it be a name forgotten? You decide.