The Story of the Grapes of Canaan     /p3

And God told Moses that for every day that the spies had spent in Canaan, looking at the land the people should spend a year in the wilderness; so that they should live in the desert forty years, instead of going at once into the promised land.

When Moses told all God's words to the people they felt worse than before. They changed their minds as suddenly as they had made up their minds.

"No," they all said, "we will not go back to the wilderness; we will go straight into the land, and see if we are able to take it, as Joshua and Caleb have said."

"You must not go into the land," said Moses.

But the people would not obey. They marched up the mountain and tried to march at once into the land. But they were without leaders and without order—a mob of men, untrained and in confusion. And the people in that part of the land, the Canaanites and the Amorites, came down upon them and killed many of them and drove them away. Then, discouraged and beaten, they obeyed the Lord and Moses, and went once more into the desert.

And in the desert of Paran, on the south of the land of Canaan, the children of Israel stayed nearly forty years; and all because they would not trust in the Lord.