I believe this passage speaks very clearly to where we’re at right now. The scouts presented their report, which led to plotting and inciting rebellion by those who wanted to force their way on others. The leaders speak, but then the people want to stone them.
God becomes angry with the people and wants to wipe them out. Moses intercedes for them and God says, essentially, "Okay, but …" God lets them live for now, but because of their rebellion they will not be permitted to enter the promised land.
I love the tremendous faith statement made by Joshua and Caleb …
Joshua & Caleb’s Speech
"The land we explored is a wonderful land! And if the LORD is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey, and he will give it to us! Do not rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!" (14.7-9)
Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the people of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. (14.5-6)
"The LORD is with us!"
"If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land." (2 Ch 7.14)
If we obey the LORD, he will surely give us that land rich with milk and honey. So don’t rebel. (14.8-9, CEV)
Don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don’t be afraid of them! (14.9)
But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to all the Israelites from above the Tabernacle. (14.10)
But my servant Caleb is different from the others. He has remained loyal to me, and I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will receive their full share of that land. (14.24)
Then the ten scouts who had incited the rebellion against the LORD by spreading discouraging reports about the land were struck dead with a plague before the LORD. Of the twelve who had explored the land, only Joshua and Caleb remained alive. (14.36-38)
Joshua lived a life of faithfulness to God. At the end of his journey, he challenged the people. Those same words could very well be our challenge today …
"So honor the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped …? Serve the LORD alone. But if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served …? Or will it be the gods of the (people) in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24.14-15)