Numbers 13:21-33

Talks for Growing Christians

The Twelve Spies Report on the Land of Canaan

Numbers 13:21-33

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Lesson Number 16

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Unbelief sees obstacles from the human perspective.
  2. Faith sees obstacles from the divine perspective.

Practical Application

  1. How do you spell “giant”?


  1. How much distance did the spies cover on their scouting expedition?
  2. Who were the “nephilim” or giants described in Numbers 13:33?
  3. Did the spies bring back a good report about the Land?
  4. What was at the root of the spies’ bad report?
  5. Why did Joshua and Caleb have faith that they could conquer the Land?


  1. About 500 miles
  2. They were people of very large stature, who lived in the land of Canaan.
  3. The spies reported that the Land “truly flows with milk and honey” (Numbers 13:27). Then they added, “Nevertheless…”
  4. They gave a bad report because of their unbelief. See Hebrews 3:19.
  5. Because they were seeing the situation from God’s perspective.


  1. You will become easily discouraged when you look at obstacles from the human perspective. Are you facing an obstacle in your life right now that is preventing you from enjoying spiritual blessings, or involving you in spiritual battles? This may be an opportunity to strengthen your faith. You can pray as the man in Mark 9:24, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
  2. God has ways of removing obstacles from the life of a believer. Perhaps you are facing an obstacle such as fear of your eternal security or doubt about your salvation. How would you counsel someone who was facing these fears? What truths from the Bible could you point them to?


  1. If you have realized, through this study, that you are making your giants bigger than God, begin little steps toward strengthening your faith this week.

Key Verses

  • “Caleb…said, ‘Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.’” Numbers 13:30
  • “And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out.” Numbers 13:32
  • “We were like grasshoppers in our own sight.” Numbers 13:33

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