40 days is what it took for these 12 to scout.
All agreed the land was good worthy of them all,
but 10 were scared to take the land for surely they would fall.
Just a little poem I came up with. But in all seriousness, I want to look at the 12 Israelite spies who went into the Promised Land to scout out what lay ahead of them.
When the Israelites reached the area just outside the Promised Land, the Lord told Moses to send 12 spies into the land to see what the ground was like (vegetation, crops etc.) and to see if there were people and cities in the land (and if they were weak, strong or many and if the cities were fortified). The whole account of these events can be found in Numbers 13 and 14.
Forty days passed and one can only imagine how jittery the Israelites were getting, this was the land God had promised to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God had delivered them from Egypt, fed them and given them water in the wilderness and had given them the 10 Commandments among other things. God had proved how loving and caring He was so surely this land He had promised was going to be good....then the spies return.
At first all is well with the spies, they all agree that the land is fertile, that crops are abundant and that the land is indeed, 'flowing with milk and honey'. How exciting, what a joyous occasion for all of Israel, what a great land God had prepared for them.
BUT. Yes, this is where the problems then arise. After all these great reports the spies say "but". The "but" was the giants (nephilim) living in the land, in whom the Israelites were like grasshoppers and there were cities that were very well fortified.
Change in attitude
So now the attitude has changed to, 'God got it wrong', and the people start to rebel. However, two spies, Joshua and Caleb, try to remind the people the God is on their side and not on the side of the people living in "their" land, but to no avail. Then God shows up, and gives Moses the absolute truth of how God is feeling about the rebellion of the Israelites. Yet again Moses intercedes for the people and God's wrath is abated. And here is where I want to delve into the purpose for our lives.
Both Joshua and Caleb are blessed because of their trust and faith in God. Caleb and his tribe (Judah) are given their full share of the land and Caleb is also allowed to enter the Promised Land (his tribe will also in time, bring forth the Lion of Judah, the Messiah, Jesus Christ). Joshua is also blessed and allowed to enter the Promised Land; he also will be the one to LEAD the Israelites into the Promised Land. The other ten spies, struck with a plague and died, and the Israelites, will wander the wilderness for forty years, one year for each day the spies were in the land so none of that generation who rebelled would get to enter the Promised Land.
The thing I hope you are seeing here is that God rewards the faithful. Both Joshua and Caleb were blessed abundantly for the faith they showed in their God. As big as the nephilim were, their God was bigger. As strong as the walls of the cities were, their God was stronger. They were unwilling to think or say that God could not do what He had said. God has already PROMISED the land to them, Joshua and Caleb believed in that promise, for they knew, God cannot, CANNOT, break His promises.
So what is your Promised Land, where is God calling you to move into, to step into, to fall into? God gives us all passions and desires and He is always calling us to new, exciting things and saying, "do you have faith?". In the same way, Satan is throwing up giants that are meant to deter us from trusting God. Satan wants us to fall into the same trap of thinking that our problems are bigger than God who holds the universe in His hands. Do your problems seem so big now?
God created the world with his words, He rescued the Israelites from Egypt, He parted the Red Sea, He led Israel by cloud and by fire, He sent mana and quail from heaven, He made a rock to give water...and this is all before the 5th book of the bible. Our God is Awesome. He is bigger, stronger, and smarter, than any problem or "giant" that comes to stand in your way. God has already made the way, God is faithful, are you going to be faithful to Him?
Don't fall into the trap of believing the problem outweighs the solution. God IS the solution. When we put our faith in God, God will pour His blessing and favour over us. Re-read the story in Numbers and ask yourself, do you want the fate of Joshua and Caleb, or do you want the fate of the other ten?
Tim McDonald lives and works in Mackay Queensland with a family of four children. He leads YAC (Young Adults Cell) group and is the drummer in his church's youthful band.
Tim's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-mcdonald.html