Toward the end of the first reading we hear
the whole community broke out with loud cries
Some of the men who went to reconnoiter the land decided it couldn't be done. So in their fear
they spread discouraging reports among the children of Israel about the land they had scouted, saying, “The land that we explored is a country that consumes its inhabitants. And all the people we saw there are huge, veritable giants (the Anakim were a race of giants); we felt like mere grasshoppers, and so we must have seemed to them.
This wasn't true but that didn't matter. Like today, a lie repeated can become fixed in the minds of "the people" as the truth. More than ever it is true that "A lie can run around the world before the truth can get its boots on."
We all remember the 40 years in the dessert but we forget that this was not God's plan. They only ended up wandering for 40 years because they allowed themselves to be taken in by the lies.
We should be very careful how quickly we accept as true. One website reports it, another news outlet reports that they said it, another repeats it, and suddenly it is in our minds fact. And the more negative the more ready we are to accept it.
Something like the good news of Jesus Christ is met with skepticism after 2000 years of constant teaching. Why are we so quick to accept the negative and so slow to embrace the positive? Shouldn't it be the other way round.
Our law says a person is innocent until proven guilty. But do we truly feel that way in our hearts? Do we presume the goodness of a person? These are the things that should set us apart as Christians.