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Numbers 13:8

King James Version (KJV)
Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
A memorable and melancholy history is related in this and the following chapter, of the turning back of Israel from the borders of Canaan, and the sentencing them to wander and perish in the wilderness, for their unbelief and murmuring. It appears, De 1:22, that the motion to search out the land came from the people. They had a better opinion of their own policy than of God's wisdom. Thus we ruin ourselves by believing the reports and representations of sense rather than Divine revelation. We walk by sight not by faith. Moses gave the spies this charge, Be of good courage. It was not only a great undertaking they were put upon, which required good management and resolution; but a great trust was reposed in them, which required that they should be faithful. Courage in such circumstances can only spring from strong faith, which Caleb and Joshua alone possessed.
Ellen G. White
Education, 149

The truth that as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7), finds another illustration in Israel's experience. On the borders of Canaan the spies, returned from searching the country, made their report. The beauty and fruitfulness of the land were lost sight of through fear of the difficulties in the way of its occupation. The cities walled up to heaven, the giant warriors, the iron chariots, daunted their faith. Leaving God out of the question, the multitude echoed the decision of the unbelieving spies, “We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.” Numbers 13:31. Their words proved true. They were not able to go up, and they wore out their lives in the desert. Ed 149.1

Two, however, of the twelve who had viewed the land, reasoned otherwise. “We are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30), they urged, counting God's promise superior to giants, walled cities, or chariots of iron. For them their word was true. Though they shared with their brethren the forty years’ wandering, Caleb and Joshua entered the Land of Promise. As courageous of heart as when with the hosts of the Lord he set out from Egypt, Caleb asked for and received as his portion the stronghold of the giants. In God's strength he drove out the Canaanites. The vineyards and olive groves where his feet had trodden became his possession. Though the cowards and rebels perished in the wilderness, the men of faith ate of the grapes of Eschol. Ed 149.2

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Ellen G. White
Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 306

“But we have no such report to bring. After a two years’ stay in Europe we see no more reason for discouragement in the state of the cause there than at its rise in the different fields in America. There we saw the Lord testing the material to be used. Some would not bear the proving of God. They would not be hewed and squared. Every stroke of the chisel, every blow of the hammer, aroused their anger and resistance. They were laid aside, and other material was brought in, to be tested in like manner. All this occasioned delay. Every fragment broken away was regretted and mourned over. Some thought that these losses would ruin the building; but, on the contrary, it was rendered stronger by the removal of these elements of weakness. The work went steadily forward. Every day made it plainer that the Lord's hand was guiding all, and that a grand purpose ran through the work from first to last. So we see the cause being established in Europe. LS 306.1

“One of the great difficulties there is the poverty that meets us at every turn. This retards the progress of the truth, which, as in earlier ages, usually finds its first converts among the humbler classes. Yet we had a similar experience in our own country, both east and west of the Rocky Mountains. Those who first accepted this message were poor, but as they set to work in faith to accomplish what they could with their talents of ability and means, the Lord came in to help. In His providence He brought men and women into the truth who were willing-hearted; they had means, and they wanted to send the light to others. So it will be now. But the Lord would have us labor earnestly in faith till that time comes. LS 306.2

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 387-9

Eleven days after leaving Mount Horeb the Hebrew host encamped at Kadesh, in the wilderness of Paran, which was not far from the borders of the Promised Land. Here it was proposed by the people that spies be sent up to survey the country. The matter was presented before the Lord by Moses, and permission was granted, with the direction that one of the rulers of each tribe should be selected for this purpose. The men were chosen as had been directed, and Moses bade them go and see the country, what it was, its situation and natural advantages; and the people that dwelt therein, whether they were strong or weak, few or many; also to observe the nature of the soil and its productiveness and to bring of the fruit of the land. PP 387.1

They went, and surveyed the whole land, entering at the southern border and proceeding to the northern extremity. They returned after an absence of forty days. The people of Israel were cherishing high hopes and were waiting in eager expectancy. The news of the spies’ return was carried from tribe to tribe and was hailed with rejoicing. The people rushed out to meet the messengers, who had safely escaped the dangers of their perilous undertaking. The spies brought specimens of the fruit, showing the fertility of the soil. It was in the time of ripe grapes, and they brought a cluster of grapes so large that it was carried between two men. They also brought of the figs and pomegranates which grew there in abundance. PP 387.2

The people rejoiced that they were to come into possession of so goodly a land, and they listened intently as the report was brought to Moses, that not a word should escape them. “We came unto the land whither thou sentest us,” the spies began, “and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.” The people were enthusiastic; they would eagerly obey the voice of the Lord, and go up at once to possess the land. But after describing the beauty and fertility of the land, all but two of the spies enlarged upon the difficulties and dangers that lay before the Israelites should they undertake the conquest of Canaan. They enumerated the powerful nations located in various parts of the country, and said that the cities were walled and very great, and the people who dwelt therein were strong, and it would be impossible to conquer them. They also stated that they had seen giants, the sons of Anak, there, and it was useless to think of possessing the land. PP 387.3

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Ellen G. White
The Retirement Years, 32.1

The experience of those aged workers is needed now; for Satan is watching every opportunity to make of no account the old waymarks—the monuments that have been raised up along the way. We need the experience of the men who through evil report as well as through good report have been steadfast to the truth; men who have not built their house upon the sand, but upon the solid rock.—The Review and Herald, November 19, 1903. RY 32.1

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 21-2

The cloud was removed from the tabernacle because the wrath of God rested upon Miriam, and it did not return until she was removed out of the camp. God had chosen Moses, and put his Spirit upon him, and by the complaints of Miriam against God's chosen servant, she not only behaved irreverently to Moses, but toward God himself, who had chosen him. Aaron was drawn into the jealous spirit of his sister Miriam. He might have prevented the evil if he had not sympathized with her, and had presented before her the sinfulness of her conduct. But instead of this, he listened to her words of complaint. The murmurings of Miriam and Aaron are left upon record as a rebuke to all who will yield to jealousy, and complain of those upon whom God lays the burden of his work. 4aSG 21.1

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Ellen G. White
The Story of Redemption, 158

The Lord commanded Moses to send men to search the land of Canaan, which He would give unto the children of Israel. A ruler of each tribe was to be selected for this purpose. They went and, after forty days, returned from their search, and came before Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of Israel, and showed them the fruit of the land. All agreed that it was a good land, and they exhibited the rich fruit which they had brought as evidence. One cluster of grapes was so large that two men carried it between them on a staff. They also brought of the figs and the pomegranates, which grew there in abundance. SR 158.1

After they had spoken of the fertility of the land, all but two spoke very discouragingly of their being able to possess it. They said that the people were very strong that dwelt in the land, and the cities were surrounded with great and high walls; and, more than all this, they saw the children of the giant Anak there. They then described how the people were situated around Canaan, and the impossibility of their ever being able to possess it. SR 158.2

As the people listened to this report they gave vent to their disappointment with bitter reproaches and wailing. They did not wait and reflect and reason that God, who had brought them out thus far, would certainly give them the land. But they yielded to discouragement at once. They limited the power of the Holy One and trusted not in God, who had hitherto led them. They reproached Moses and murmuringly said to one another, This, then, is the end of all our hopes. This is the land that we have been traveling from Egypt to obtain. SR 158.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 148

The Lord commanded Moses to send men to search the land of Canaan, which He would give unto the children of Israel. A ruler from each tribe was to be selected for this purpose. They went; and after forty days they returned from their search, and came before Moses and Aaron, and all the congregation of Israel, and showed them the fruit of the land. All agreed that it was a good land, and they exhibited the rich fruit which they had brought as evidence. One cluster of grapes was so large that two men carried it between them on a staff. They also brought of the figs and pomegranates which grew there in abundance. After they had spoken of the fertility of the land, all but two spoke very discouragingly of their ability to possess it. They said that the people were very strong that dwelt in the land, and the cities were surrounded with great and high walls, and, more than all this, they saw the children of the giant Anak there. They then described how the people were situated around Canaan and expressed the fear that it would be impossible for them ever to possess this land. 4T 148.1

As the people listened to this report, they gave vent to their disappointment in bitter reproaches and wailing. They did not wait to reflect and reason that God, who had brought them out thus far, would certainly give them the land. They left God out of the question. They acted as though in taking the city of Jericho, the key to the land of Canaan, they must depend solely on the power of arms. God had declared that He would give them the country, and they should have fully trusted Him to fulfill His word. But their unsubdued hearts were not in harmony with His plans. They did not reflect how wonderfully He had wrought in their behalf, bringing them out of their Egyptian bondage, cutting a path for them through the waters of the sea, and destroying the pursuing host of Pharaoh. In their unbelief they were limiting the work of God and distrusting the hand that had hitherto safely guided them. In this instance they repeated their former error of murmuring against Moses and Aaron. “This, then, is the end of all our high hopes,” said they. “This is the land we have traveled all the way from Egypt to possess.” They blamed their leaders for bringing trouble upon Israel and again charged them with deceiving the people and leading them astray. 4T 148.2

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