Today’s Bible reading is Numbers 13-14, Psalm 48, and Luke 4. Our devotional is from Numbers 13-14 .
Numbers 13:1-2 – 1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan…”
The fate of a nation rested in the hands of twelve leaders, one from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, chosen by Moses and charged with the responsibility of spying out the land (13:4-15) the LORD had promised Abraham would be an inheritance for his chosen seed (Genesis 12:1, 7; 13:14-17).
Forty days passed while Moses and the nation waited to hear the report of the land. Returning with “a branch with one cluster of grapes ”that was so full of fruit the men “bare it between two upon a staff” (13:23-25), the twelve confirmed the land was all the LORD had promised saying, “surely it floweth with milk and honey” (13:27).
The spies report; however, did not conclude on a good note: “Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there” (13:28) along with the Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites and Canaanites” (13:29).
Realizing the obstacles the nation would face, the hearts of the people melted with fear until Caleb, one of the twelve spoke and said, “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (13:30).
Take a moment and reflect on the charge Moses had given the spies (13:17-20). Their responsibility was to spy out the land; not assess Israel’s ability to take the land. Focusing on obstacles and not the promises of the LORD, ten of the spies sowed seeds of doubt saying, “We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we…we saw giants…and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (13:31-33).
Caleb urged the people “go up…we are well able”(13:30); however, ten of the faithless spies urged, “we be not able to go up”(13:31).
What made the difference in their assessments? The report given by Caleb and Joshua was different from the other spies in two aspects: Focus and Faith.
Focus: Caleb and Joshua focused, not on the size of the obstacles, but on the promises of the LORD. They reported, the land was all He promised it would be… “surely it floweth with milk and honey” (13:27) and “we are well able to overcome it” (13:30).
Faith: Caleb and Joshua’s faith was in the LORD. They challenged the people, “If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land… 9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land…the LORD is with us: fear them not” (Numbers 14:8-9).
Israel’s failure to take possession of the land was not due to giants or the heathen nations that dwelled in the land. Israel’s impediment was her lack of faith in the LORD.
What about you? Are you facing giants?
The LORD never fails to keep His promises; however, the fear of man and faithlessness has deprived many of His blessings (Jeremiah 17:5).
Jeremiah 17:7 – “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.”
Copyright 2019 – Travis D. Smith