By George Feldman
Most Bible students remember well the story of the 12 men Moses sent out to spy on the Promised Land for a period of 40 days. They brought back various fruits like the luscious grapes of Eschol as pictured.
The report of the spies was critical regarding the choice or decision the People would make. Ten of the spies returned paralyzed with fear at the size and strength of the enemy. They conducted a whispering and grumbling campaign that corrupted the People with their own unbelief and cowardice The consequence for those 10 spies was death by a sudden plague from the Lord. However, Joshua and Caleb brought a totally good report. They had not forgotten or lost faith in the Almighty God, Who punished the nation by sentencing them to 40 years of wandering in the Wilderness.
We believe there are some noteworthy parallels between the experiences of Moses and Paul. Because the People rebelled against Moses, God's appointed leader, God rejected them and they ended up in the Wilderness. The Apostle Paul's ministry throughout the Acts period was met with much opposition from the Jews, until God's patience ran out and all ministry to Israel ceased, as recorded in Acts 28. But this was not the end. Paul was given a new revelation and unique message for all, whether Jew or Gentile. With Moses, the Promised Land was on earth. But with Paul the destiny, or "The Hope" of the believers of this "New Gospel" given to him had no place in the earth, but in a never before revealed habitation, a spiritual Promised Land, so to speak, in the Super Heavenlies! And just as the People rejected Moses and that generation failed to enter their Promised Land, so the great family of believers as a whole have rejected Paul and his new and unique message. With Moses and that generation, only Joshua and Caleb entered the Promised Land. And so down through the centuries there have been few Joshuas and Calebs, so to speak, who have believed and embraced Paul's gospel. Most wander aimlessly in a religious Wilderness. Yes, with choices come consequences.