The most tragic episode of all for the Exodus generation was the story of the twelve spies who went to Canaan to find out about the land the Jews were about to conquer.
After a lightning trip, the spies came back with such a dreadful report that the Jews decided they did not want to embark on the conquest of the Promised Land after all. This fateful reaction led to them not being allowed into the land, even if they wanted to go, which in turn resulted in the 40 year sojourn in the wilderness until they had all died.
The most troubling aspect of the entire story is the treachery of the spies, who we are informed by the sources were all men of distinction and high standing. How did they get it so wrong? What drove them to defy God’s plan, and to delay the moment when the Jews would return to their homeland?
Most importantly, what can we learn from the mistake of the spies, and how can we apply those lessons to present day realities?