Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ten Said "No," Two Said "Go"

After wandering in the desert many years, Moses commanded representatives from every one of the twelve tribes of Israel to explore the land of Canaan (the Promised Land). "Go up through the Negev and into the hill country. See what the land is like. Are the people strong or weak? Are there lots of them or just a few? Are the cities fortified or unwalled? Is the soil fertile or poor? Are there any trees? Do your best to bring back some fruit of the land," (Numbers 13: 17-20).

The results? Ten reported, "The land flows with milk and honey. Here is its fruit. But the cities are fortified and large. The people are giants and we are as grasshoppers to them. But Joshua and Caleb said, "The land we explored is good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into the land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Do not rebel against the Lord. Do not be afraid of the people. The Lord is with us," (Numbers 14:7-9).

Yet the people were afraid and wanted to stone Joshua and Caleb. They grumbled against Moses and Aaron, so none of them crossed over the Jordan into the promised land, but died in the desert. Joshua and Caleb led the next generation into the promised land and God fought their battles and overcame the nations so Israel could inhabit the land.

Do you remember any of the names of the ten who said "no"? I didn't think so. If you are curious, you can read them in the 13th chapter of Numbers. They died because of their unbelief. You know what unbelief causes? Grumbling. Unbelief focuses on circumstances. Faith focuses on God, what He has done and what He can do. Joshua and Caleb had faith. They trusted God to go before them and fight their enemies. Do you have enemies? Maybe they are bullies at school. Maybe they are desires to have things you can't have. Maybe they are feelings that you are better than other kids. Trust God to defeat your enemies, whatever and whoever they are, so He can make His home in your heart and life.

Thank you, Father God, for examples like Joshua and Caleb, who trusted you instead of being discouraged by their circumstances. Help us to trust you to overcome anything that gets in the way of our relationship with you. Amen.

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