Day 62: Spies Sent to Canaan

Numbers 12:1-16 Out of envy, Miriam and Aaron complained about Moses’ leadership and consequently received a prompt reprimand from God. Because she voiced her criticism, Miriam was afflicted with leprosy for several days. Envy is a form of covetousness that is accompanied by dislike and even hatred toward a person because of his or her goods or blessings; it is FORBIDDEN by the Ninth and Tenth Commandments. (CCC 2514)

Ch 12:13-14 Moses’ closeness to God made him a great intercessor for the people of Israel. His humble prayer for his sister's healing shows how his petitions were always directed toward the good of others. (CCC 2577)

Ch 13:1-33 Spies who were sent to assess the Promised Land returned with reports of several large armies in the region. The leader of the spies urged Moses to press forward, but the other spies believed Israel was too outnumbered to succeed in battle. The Church teaches that one of the conditions for a JUST WAR is the REASONABLE CHANCE OF SUCCESS. (CCC 2309)

Ch 13:16 Joshua: The name means “Yahweh saves.” Joshua succeeded Moses as the leader of the Israelites and actually took them into the Promised Land. Some of the Church Fathers view Joshua as a type (TYPOLOGY!!) of Christ, whose name, Jesus, is a Latin form of the Greek, Iesous, which is DERIVED FROM JOSHUA! (CCC 430, 452)

Deuteronomy 11:8-17 God instructed the Chosen People that the new land gratuitously given to them would yield many blessings as long as they were faithful to God’s covenant expressed in the Mosaic Law. It also guarantees its viability and fertility for raising crops and herding animals, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” Unlike the desert, the Promised Land will benefit from the rains that will water the fields and bring forth the harvest. Hardship and woe, however, would follow if they would choose to alienate themselves from the covenant. (CCC 1334)

Ch 11:18-19 The proper education and religious formation of children is the responsibility of the parents and one of the primary objectives of marriage. This training should include catechesis and practices of piety. (CCC 2221-2223, 2688)

Psalm 94 God of vengeance: Here the term means “the God who establishes justice.” 

He who planted...not hear?: God, who created all things, knows every aspect of each person, including our every thought and sentiment.

Blessed is the man...chasten: It is a sign of God’s love that he disciplines his people. Disciplining a person under one’s tutelage in order that he or she might improve is a sign of love just as a good parent sometimes disciplines a child in order to teach and form.

The Lord has become my stronghold: This verse does not mean that God has changed his dispositions but rather the person in question now seeks God as a bulwark of strength and protection. God, unlike human beings, is eternal and does not undergo a change of heart. (CCC 2817)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Key Event 25: Twelve Spies Sent Out (Numbers 13:1-33)

As the Israelites prepare to enter the Promised Land, they send twelve spies to scout out the land. Ten of these spies give a negative report and discourage the people. Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, encourage the people to trust in God and to conquer the land, but to no avail. In response to the people’s unbelief, God decrees forty years of wandering in the desert, one year for every day they spied out the land.

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through the Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr Mike: “Father in Heaven, we give you praise and we thank you for your word. We thank you for speaking to us. We thank you for not only speaking to us in your Word and letting that Word that you have spoken shape our minds and our hearts and teaching us what to love and what to hate. But we also just thank you for choosing us. We thank you for letting us belong to you. We ask that you please give us the grace not only to have our minds and hearts shaped like yours, but also to let ourselves be chosen. Give us the grace to give you permission to love us like you want to love us and to call us how you want to call us. Give us the grace to be able to say yes to you in everything this day. We make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.”


It stood out to me how after Miriam and Aaron sinned, Aaron sought forgiveness after Miriam was given leprosy, thus being outcast from the camp, much like how we outcast ourselves with mortal sin. After Moses' mediation, God would ensure she would rejoin the camp, not forever expelled, but she still had to endure the temporary consequence of her sin for seven days. This illustrates what we refer to as "Temporal Punishment.

We are called to keep God's word as a sign on our forehead and in our hand. Contrast this with Revelation 13, where the mark of the beast is also described as being on the forehead and right hand. The takeaway is whatever or whoever we put our faith and trust in is what we will keep in our minds, and it will affect what we do as a result.