We are all familiar with the children’s song about the twelve spies; ten were bad and two were good. This is based on the story of the twelve men who were sent into the Promised Land to scout it out. (Numbers 13 and 14) They returned with stories of giants that made them look like grasshoppers. Two of the men, Joshua and Caleb said that with the Lord’s assistance, the giants would be no problem. The Children of Israel sided with the ten fearful men, grumbled against Moses and Aaron and threatened to stone them.
This caused the Lord to speak to Moses and the Israelites. The Israelites had stated many times that the Lord had brought them out into the desert to die. The Lord declared that that was exactly what was going to happen to them. They would die in the desert. This is an important lesson for each of us; our statements have power; words mean things. The ten faithless men died of a plague sent by the Lord. The rest of the Israelites over the age of twenty died over the years in the desert before they entered the Promised Land.
There are at least two other occasions of “ten were bad and two were good.” When Reheboam, the spoiled son of Solomon, would not listen to the entreaties of Israel, ten of the twelve tribes rebelled and Reheboam was left with only two tribes remaining, Judah and Benjamin. (Second Chronicles 10)
What really identifies the ten rebelling tribes as bad is the fact that they began worshipping golden calves. (First Kings 12:28-30) Did not they remember what happened to Israel the last time that was done? So, ten tribes were bad and two tribes were good. Eventually the ten northern tribes were conquered by Assyria and deported all over the Assyrian Empire. However, faithful members of each tribe in the Northern Kingdom returned to live in the Southern Kingdom and to worship the Lord. (Second Chronicles 11:16-17) Therefore, there were representatives of each tribe preserved in Judah and there are no “Ten Lost Tribes.”
All Twelve Disciples, including Judas, were present with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. After the arrest of Jesus the Twelve Disciples dispersed. They feared for their lives and fled. During the trials of Jesus only Peter and John were present. (John 18:12-18) Where were the other ten? Ten were bad and two were good.
As with many other patterns, the pattern of “ten bad and two good” is repeated in the Bible. I can think of no application of this pattern in End Time prophecy, but I would not be surprised if there was one. If you think of one, please let me know.
The Day of the Lord is drawing near. Pray for a great revival in America and around the world. And praise the name of the Lord, always.