The High Cost of Unbelief
After Israel was miraculously delivered from bondage in Egypt, the Israelites made their way to the land of Canaan. The LORD would teach them many lessons along the way, but one particular lesson proved to be a costly one. In Numbers 13, Moses sent 12 spies (one from each of the tribes of Israel) on a 40 day reconnaissance mission to spy out the land of Canaan. While all 12 spies observed the same things, they did not agree that it was in the best interest of the Israelites to proceed to the land promised to them by the LORD. Out of the 12, only 2 (Caleb and Joshua) believed that, in spite of the giants in the land, the LORD would help them overcome the obstacles in order to possess the land (see Numbers 13:30, 14:6-10). As is often the case, the people of Israel sided with the majority (the 10 spies) and did not believe that God would do as He promised.
The LORD did not take the matter lightly! He PROMISED to give Israel the land many years earlier and declared that the entire generation of Israelites (save Caleb and Joshua) would NOT enter into Canaan. This resulted in 40 years of wandering in the wilderness “each day for a year” (Numbers 14:34). A key verse in Deuteronomy 1 reveals a staggering truth about the time it SHOULD HAVE taken for the journey to Canaan.
“(There are eleven days journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)
A journey that SHOULD HAVE taken less than 2 weeks ended up taking 40 years, all because of UNBELIEF! What a reminder for those living the Christian life to take God at His word 100% of the time. This true account found in the Old Testament serves as an example to us today (Romans 15:4) so that we will avoid the dangerous sin of UNBELIEF.