v1-2 God tells Moses to send spies into the land. This is interesting because in Deuteronomy 1:21-25 says that the people asked Moses if they could send spies. So the people probably asked 1st and then God told them to do it.
v16 “and Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Joshua” – For some reason I have been noticing the discipleship relationship between Moses and Joshua a lot more as I read. Moses is training his replacement. In 11:28 we see that he was Moses assistant since he was young “And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth”. In Exodus 24 Joshua goes with Moses up to the mountain of God, not even the elders or Aaron did that.
10 of the 12 spies bring back a bad report and the people moan and groan about it. But Joshua and Caleb try and convince them to take the land because God is on their side, they say “Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us, do not fear them”. I want that. I want to think like that. I want to talk like that. I want to live courageously for God like that.
v13ff – Also in this chapter you see how Moses interceded for the people. They are a rebellious people. They do not treat Moses kindly. Yet Moses is a faithful shepherd of God’s people. He is always concerned for the people and for God’s reputation, he is rarely if ever concerned about himself or his reputation. Moses is a faithful shepherd.
v.17-19 Moses intercedes by using God’s Word, God you have said this and because you cannot lie or deny yourself you must do it. As one of the Puritans used to say “God loves to be sued by His own law”.
v37 the spies who brought back a bad report all die of a plague except Joshua and Caleb. That would have provided some clarity.
Israel realizes they made a bad decision and try to go fight but the LORD was not with them and they lost. Amazing, when the LORD is with you no foe is too great, when the LORD is not with you even a small force can defeat you. Reminds me of Samson after his hair was cut and “he did not know that the LORD had left him” and he was captured. When the LORD was with him he defeated huge multitudes but when the LORD left him he was powerless.