Numbers 14:1-19

Talks for Growing Christians

The People's Reaction to the Spies' Report

Numbers 14:1-19

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Lesson Number 17

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The sin of compromise results from unbelief in the human heart.
  2. The sin of compromise results in loss of the abundant life.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s be more concerned for God’s glory than our own glory.


  1. How long were the spies on their scouting expedition? How far did they scout?
  2. What did the spies report about the Land?
  3. Did all of the spies bring the same report?
  4. Review the miraculous ways God had provided for the Children of Israel to this point.
  5. Diagram the Sins of the Wilderness.
  6. What was Moses’ response when God said He planned to remove these rebellious Israelites?


  1. The twelve spies were gone for 40 days; they traveled over 500 miles and scouted as far north as modern-day Lebanon.
  2. They reported that it was a good and productive land, flowing with milk and honey. They also reported that they would not be able to enter the Land, because the cities were fortified and the people were too strong.
  3. No, two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, believed that the fortified cities and giants were no problem for God.
  4. He had used the ten plagues to miraculously bring the Children of Israel out of Egypt. He had parted the Red Sea before them, and caused Pharaoh and his armies to drown. He led the Israelites in the wilderness and provided manna for them to eat.
  5. The Tree of Pride, with Roots of Self, is rooted in the Sinful Nature. Four branches on the Tree of Pride are the Branch of Discontent, the Branch of Jealousy, the Branch of Unbelief, and the Branch of Rebellion. Each of these branches has “C-leaves”. The Branch of Discontent has Leaves of Complaining (Numbers 11). The Branch of Jealousy has Leaves of Criticism (Numbers 12). The Branch of Unbelief has Leaves of Compromise (Numbers 14). The Branch of Rebellion has Leaves of Contempt (Numbers 16).
  6. Moses was concerned for God’s name and glory. He did not want the Egyptians or Canaanites to say the God of Israel was weak. He prayed for forgiveness on behalf of the people.


  1. The sin of compromise results from unbelief in the human heart. This unbelief is not referring to belief for salvation. This is the issue of whether a believer is living by faith. Do you really believe the promises and word of God? Or are you making compromises in your Christian life. Recall a time when you have compromised in your Christian life. How did this affect your already weak faith?
  2. The Lord Jesus has come not only to give us life, but abundant life (John 10:10). What is the abundant life? Are you experiencing this abundant life? Or is your life filled with doubt, discouragement, depression, and despair? Do you really believe that the abundant life is better than what this world has to offer?


  1. God had miraculously brought the Children of Israel out of Canaan and promised them a fruitful land. Yet when the Israelites saw some obstacles, they wished they were back in slavery in Egypt. This sounds absurd to us, but do we ever have a similar response? Recall from where God has rescued you. Don’t desire to go back to your former ways; have faith to move on to the more abundant blessings the Lord has for you.

Key Verses

  • “Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” Numbers 14:3
  • “Do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land…their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us.” Numbers 14:9

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