Numbers 13:1-20

Talks for Growing Christians

Twelve Israeli Spies Scout Out the Land of Canaan

Numbers 13:1-20

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Lesson Number 15

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God permits His people to scout out the Promised Land.
  2. God expects His people to possess the Promised Land.

Practical Application

  1. Are we passing the test of the land?


  1. What does the name “Hoshea” mean? What does “Joshua” mean?
  2. Who initiated the scouting expedition into the Land?
  3. Why was it not God’s best for the Israelites to spy out the Land?
  4. Describe how the Israelite’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land is a spiritual picture of our Christian lives.


  1. “Hosea” simply means “salvation;” “Joshua” means “God is salvation.”
  2. Deuteronomy 1 records the people asking Moses to spend spies into the Land. Numbers 13 records God telling Moses to send the spies, in response to the people’s request.
  3. God had already given the Land to the children of Israel, and told them it was a good land. Because of their unbelief and doubting, the people requested to spy out the Land. God graciously permitted them to do so.
  4. -Egypt represents the world and our slavery to sin. We are saved from this when we apply the blood of the true Passover Lamb to our lives -The Lord does not want us wandering in the wilderness of Christian experience. He wants us living in and possessing the Land. This Land is the Land of Blessings which we have in Christ. It is also the realm of spiritual battles, where we are guaranteed victory if we walk by faith.


  1. Every person on earth is born in need of salvation. Discuss the different things people look to for salvation. There is only one true way of salvation – God’s way. What is God’s way of salvation? Read John 14:6.
  2. Discuss the two doctrinal points as they relate to the Christian life. Do you take God at His word, and believe He has a land of blessing for you? Are you living in and possessing that Land?


  1. God used the Promised Land to test the faith of His people. Would they believe what He said about the Land? The Israelites failed the test. What about you? When your faith is tested, will you pass?

Key Verses

  • “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel.” Numbers 13:2
  • “Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.” Numbers 13:20

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