The account of the spies going into the promised land is important to us. The Lord, having delivered His chosen people from slavery in Egypt, has given them the Law at Sinai and they now are on the threshold of receiving His wonderful promise of a land of their own. As Chapter 13 unfolds, we read that the Lord directs the sending of a reconnaissance team to check the place out. Twelve go – one from each tribe. But, they do not all have the same eyes. Ten see the place through earthly eyes, without regard for God’s promise. They carry back an enormous bunch of grapes (13:23), evidence of the plenty of the land, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Instead, all they see is risk and trouble – it is scary. Their report to the people is negative, and it lands on the fertile soil of the fears of the people. The whole nation calls for retreat (14:1-4).
Only Caleb and Joshua see the land through the lens of God’s promise. They see a land that flows with milk and honey (14:8) and no reason to fear – as the Lord is with them and not the scary people. In the end, the people who fall away on account of doubt are condemned to spend forty years wandering in the desert, and then to die before ever seeing the promised land. Only Caleb and Joshua live to enter the land.
There is a simple precept here for us. When we forget God’s presence and promises, life looks pretty scary. The ten said,
we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers… (Nu 13:33)
But, when we see the obstacles of life through the lens of God’s promises, we don’t see defeat, we see victory.
So – what faces us this day? What “scary land” lies ahead filled with giants and such? With the promises of God in our hearts and minds, we will have courage and go for it. If we abandon God’s promises, we may end up wandering in the desert for forty years. So, trust, believe and go for it!
Text: Numbers 11-14; Psalm 31
in Him, Mike