The history of Israel began in Genesis 12 with the covenant God made with Abraham, promising Abraham that He would make Abraham a great nation, that his descendants would be too numerous to count, that He would bless them and they would bless the nations, that God Himself would be their God and they would be His people, and He promised them a land to call their own. Abraham’s great-grandson, Joseph, was sold into slavery in Egypt but rose to great power and brought his family to live there. In Egypt, the nation of Israel grew so large that eventually they were made slaves. But God remembered His people, and He chose Moses to lead them out of Egypt. Through a variety of plagues and the crossing of the Red Sea, God delivered the Israelites; they settled at Mount Sinai as a free nation. God gave them their constitution (the 10 Commandments and the law) and they built the tabernacle as their meeting place. The Book of Numbers begins with the Israelites preparing to travel north into the land of Canaan. In Numbers 13, the Israelites are ready to send leaders to explore the Promised Land.
Discuss with your group a time when you either moved out in faith and took a risk, or when you missed out on something special because of fear. What was the result of your action or inaction?
Read Numbers 13:1-16. Why do you think God had Moses send out leaders to explore the land?
What conditions does God put on the Israelites to obtain the land?
Read Numbers 13:17-29. How long are the leaders gone?
What do they report about the land?
What do they spend more time discussing – the positive aspects or negative aspects of the land?
Who were the Anak? (See also Numbers 13:33 and Genesis 6:1-4.)
Since God did not put any conditions on obtaining the land (“Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites”), what kept the nation of Israel from taking the land?
Read Numbers 13:30-14:4,10a. How do the leaders deal with their fear? How did that impact the whole nation? What did they want to do?
Read Numbers 14:5-9. How do Caleb and Joshua show their depth of understanding of the nature of God? (See also Jeremiah 32:7 and Matthew 19:26.)
Since nothing is impossible with God, discuss as a group your answer to the Vision Sunday question, “How will you Take the Land?”
On Sunday, the Preaching Team shared three areas that we will target to “Take The Land” and one giant to conquer:
- Build Our People (Alpha, Global School of Influence, Intern Program)
- Build Our Culture (Fellowship Groups, Fellowship Teams, 2nd Mile 2nd Nature, Love The Land)
- Build Our Brand/Presence (Make Christ Known, Pop Up Worship Nights, Online Presence)
- Eliminate Our Debt
This week, begin praying about YOUR part in Fellowship’s vision. Where do you fit? How will God use you? How will you open your eyes, prepare your heart, and extend your hand?
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Read Numbers 14:10-38. What does God propose to Moses? How does Moses respond? What does that tell you about Moses’ character?
Put yourself in Moses’ shoes…how do you think you would have responded?
God listens to Moses’ intercession for the people and forgives them. What does this tell you about approaching (praying to) God with humbleness and selflessness?
Though God forgives the people, what were the consequences from their lack of faith?
What significance do you see in the fact that the Israelites would 40 years wandering in the wilderness – one year for every day the leaders were exploring the land?