Si Se Puede

Numbers 13:1-31


: “

Sí, se puede

” (


 for “Yes, it is possible” or, roughly, “Yes, we can”;  is the motto of the 

United Farm Workers

 of America, and has since been taken up by other activist groups. In 1972, during 

Cesar Chavez

‘s 25-day fast in 

Phoenix, Arizona

, UFW’s co-founder, 

Dolores Huerta

, came up with the slogan.

“Sí se puede” has long been a UFW guiding principle that has served to inspire accomplishment of goals. The phrase is a federally registered trademark of the UFW.

The phrase has been widely adopted by other labor unions and civil rights organizations and drew widespread political and media attention as a rallying cry during the U.S. immigration reform protests.


: Chapters 13-15 are pivotal in the Book of numbers. They tell the story of why the first generation of Israelites to leave Egypt lost the gift of the promised land.

Given the significance of the loss of the promised land, it is not surprising that multiple interpretations of this story have been preserved in the Pentateuch.

In the wilderness, 

the people’s fear leads to a failure

to trust God.


: Because of this disobedience, the Israelites living at the time are barred from entering the promised land. “Not one of these – not one of this evil generation – shall see the good land that I swore to give to your ancestors” (

Deut. 1:35

). The only exceptions are Caleb and Joshua, the only members of the scouting expedition who encouraged the Israelites to obey God’s command (

Numbers 13:30



: So how did that happen?

The leaders of Israel

 are faced here not with rebellion or a violation of the law but with something much slipperier: an emotional weakness, a giving way to fear


Moses had tried; he told the spies to “grow bold.”

But how do you teach people to be bold? Moses and Aaron are at a loss; all they can do is pray.

Caleb and Joshua, the two destined to lead the next generation, tear their clothes in mourning—but they don’t give up


Let’s go through the text and make some applications.

1. Consideration of Promise of Provisions / Blessing



: Pomegranate, grapes, figs (for me it would be avocadoes, mangos, and peaches).


: Sara has a magnet in our kitchen, ‘What could you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

2. Ordeal of Facing Obstacles


Fears response:

Joshua & Caleb, ‘Lets go!’ ‘Right now!’

4. Demonstration of Denial / Fear

Application: I think about this from two perspectives: individual(s) and corporate.

What could we do, be, become if we really understood significance, believed, and then worked toward accomplishment?

What could we do as a church if we understood and we committed to significance, potential, beauty?

For Self:

For church:


: God makes promises and a plan on how to execute / receive our ‘promised land.’ It involves obedience and overcoming fear!

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