FORGET GOD; FEAR MEN
Loving God, show me Your hand at work in my life today.
Read Numbers 13:1–3,17–33
13 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”
3 So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites.
17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)
21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.
Report on the Exploration
26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen you look at what you face today or tomorrow, how do you choose to see God at work?
Everything has been leading up to this point. God brought his people out of slavery in Egypt and promised them a land of their own, flowing with milk and honey (27). And now they stand on the brink. Will God deliver on his promises? Will his people trust him?
Before they march in, 12 spies go to check out the land. This is not a lack of trust; God himself sent them (1–3). They’re to see if the land is as good as God said it would be, and what military preparation they need to make (17–20).
They return with good news: the land is abundant (23,24,27). They return with realistic news: the people are strong (28,29). So far, no surprises. God promised it would be this good; he never promised it would be easy.
So the people have a choice. Will they trust God? Most of the spies choose to see reality on a human level (31–33). All they can see are difficulties. And so their problems grow in their own eyes (the people are giants!) and their resources shrink (we are grasshoppers!). They look at their future, but they don’t see God in it. But if you forget God, you will fear men.
Have you backed down from receiving God’s promise because of how the situation looks? Choose to step out in faith and obey God today.
Pray that the Father will help you see reality as Caleb saw it: that God is good, powerful, present, and keeps his promises.
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