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    How could they get it so wrong? – Sh’lach L’cha

    The return of the spies, by James Tissot

    The return of the spies, by James Tissot

    How could people who were as clever as the spies get it so wrong as to suggest that God would be unable to bring the nation safely into the Promised Land (Num. 14:27)?

    Perhaps they were scared at the big adjustment they would have to make when they entered a new home.

    Maybe they doubted their leader Moses. True, he had led them through the wilderness and organised their camp quite efficiently, but now he was getting old and might be unable to meet the requirements of a new life.

    Perhaps they were worried about whether the people deserved God’s help. How much more could they expect from Him when they had shown their shortcomings by worshipping a golden calf?

    Whatever the answer to the question, they were guilty of a lack of patience, trust and faith. Leadership brings constant doubts and challenges, but leaders have to be sustained by the long view.

    There is a constant theme in the Book of Psalms of the Psalmist never losing faith that God would win in the end, even though questions could be asked about His timing. The Psalmist asks, “How long, O Lord, how long?” He never says, “God, I give up on You!”

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