Numbers 13

2 When one country attacks another, it is important that the first learn about the other's territory. In Deu 1:22 the Israelites requested to spy out the land. God already knew the territory and the enemy's strengths and weaknesses. Sending out spies, then, was not for reconnaissance; it was to be a test of their faith. The spies would see the bountiful land that God would give them, but they would also see an enemy too strong for them to conquer. They could only succeed by trusting in God. Would they?
16 Moses gave Hoshea the name Joshua. In the Hebrew, the name change added an abbreviation of God's name. The meaning of his name went from "deliverance" to "God delivers." This may have been intentional if God told Moses that Joshua would some day lead the Israelites. Joshua would need to rely on God to deliver the people into the land, not himself.

No man was sent from Levi. Manasseh and Ephraim replaced Joseph and Levi as "political" representatives. The Levites were the "spiritual" representatives, and would eventually be scattered throughout Israel once they entered the Promised Land.

18 God had not indicated how strong the people were in the land; He only promised that they would be defeated. Whether a person or nation is strong or weak is irrelevant compared to the power of God.
19 God had already told the Israelites that the land was good. The spies would simply confirm this.

Nomadic people living in tents would be easier to defeat than a settled people who had built strong fortresses. However, God would later prove at Jericho that no fortress could resist the power of God.

20 A land of rich soil could support forests and farms.
21 The Wilderness of Zin was located in the southern region of the Promised Land, and Rehob was located in the northern region.
22 Starting from the south end of the Promised Land, the spies traveled through the center of the land to the northern end. They then returned along a similar path.
23 On the way back, they took a large cluster of grapes. It was the season for grapes, so these were ripe. The cluster was so large that the men had to carry it on a pole -- similar to how hunters would carry a large animal they had killed. They would have carried this cluster for about ten days before they got back to the Israelite camp. The grapes had probably become raisins by that time.
24 "Eschol" means "cluster."
25 This trip of roughly 500 miles took 40 days.
27 God had promised the Israelites a good land in Exo 3:8.
28 In that same verse God spoke of the enemies that dwelt in the land and the spies found them just as He said. God had not mentioned how strong and well fortified the cities were. To God this was irrelevant since He had the power to overcome any obstacle.

The descendants of Anak were referred to as giants because of their strength and tall stature. Though they were not mentioned until now, it is obvious that they were a well-known clan (Deu 9:2). The Anakites would be formidable opponents, but they are last mentioned in Judg 1:20 concerning Joshua's campaign.

30 The crowd was obviously disturbed by the report, so Caleb immediately tries to rally them into an army. If they would go up with faith in God's promise they would win, but if they hesitated, they would be filled with doubt and lose their faith.
31 The spies all agreed that the land was just as God had promised. However, ten found it hard to believe God's promise that they would dwell in the land. Instead of focusing on God's ability, they focused on their own weaknesses. It is true that they could not take the land on their own, but they forgot that God would be on their side, and He would make them victorious. They countered Caleb's call to action, and their fearful words swayed the Israelites.
33 When God gives us a promise or an assignment, He already knows the obstacles that we will face. He would not promise us something that He could not give us. When we meet an obstacle, we have a choice: we can proceed in faith or fall back in doubt. If we proceed, we will be victorious because God will give us what He promises, but if we doubt Him, the consequences can affect us, our families, and those around us.

The spies focused on their own shortcomings and what their opponents might have thought of them. In God's eyes, however, it does not matter what a person thinks of themselves or what others think of them. Ultimately, what God thinks of a person and how He is able to use that person determines what the person can and can not do.