“For the LORD had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.” Numbers 26:65 (KJB)
There had been an incident at Peor (chapter 25) where the Midianite people, discovering the sinful passions of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam (Numbers 31:16). Because of this act of rebellion, disobedience, and whoredom against God, His law, and His people Phineas rushed in with a spear and pinned two of the unholy rebels to the floor of the tent. This act of Phineas stopped the plague the LORD had brought on the people of Israel.
In chapter 26 the LORD calls Moses to conduct a second census of the tribes. The census is completed and it is discovered that their count is well over 600,000 men of 20 years of age and over. By my thinking there would have been none, except Joshua and Caleb who would have been over 60 years old.
You need to remember the incident at Kadeshbarnea where the 10 spies who went to search out the Promised Land, and came back with a report of unbelief in God’s promises, doubt and fear prevailed in their report. The report of Caleb and Joshua was one of belief, and trust that God was well able to deliver the land into them. The majority prevailed on that day. Their reward was to not see the Promised Land due to their unbelief.
The count that is given is evidence of God’s power, the power of His word. He will not diminish one word that He says. Neither does He give permission for His prophets and preachers to hold back His word (Jeremiah 26:2).
When we read in the Bible, “For the LORD has said…” that is a for sure thing. It is the most sure thing we have. So I am saying to myself and to those reading this, Listen up, for God has spoken. Listen to His Son Jesus, for He too has spoken. Listen as He spoke before the cross. Listen as He spoke from the cross. Listen as He spoke from the grave. Listen as He speaks because He is risen.