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A Confident Young Spy

We first meet Joshua as a young spy. Moses sent Joshua and 11 other leaders, each one from his ancestral tribe, to explore the land of Canaan. But their report back left everyone in dismay. Powerful warriors occupied the land, and fear swept from tent to tent as the people cried: “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword?” (vv. 2–3). They even suggested leaving Moses, choosing a new leader, and returning to slavery in Egypt.

Would their journey be all for nothing: the miracles performed, the miles trekked, and the desert obstacles overcome? Then, while the whole assembly watched, a young spy and his friend spoke up offering a different and godly perspective. Joshua and Caleb pled with the people that the land they explored, an “exceedingly good” land, could be theirs because the Lord would be with them (vv. 7–9).

Joshua’s and Caleb’s confidence could only come from the Lord. It probably took as much courage to raise their voices against their family and friends as was needed to scout out the land. Nonetheless, they spoke truth because they were confident that the Lord was bringing them on their quest for a purpose.

More time would pass before the people were fully prepared to enter into the Promised Land, but young Joshua and Caleb stood their ground when everyone else was ready to walk away. Joshua’s confidence in the Lord is one of the many reasons why Moses would mentor him and the Lord chose him to be the people’s leader for the most challenging quest they ever faced, entering into the Promised Land.

>> If you were in Joshua’s sandals what would you have done? Would you have the courage to speak up for what was right and godly? Standing up for what is right may be challenging because of what others will think or say. But true confidence comes from the Lord.

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

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