September 2, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea." Exodus 13:18
If we were mapping out the journey for Israel, we would have made a “beeline” straight to Canaan…the shortest, quickest path of least resistance. But God knew what was in the heart of these uncommitted people. It was only an eleven-day journey to Kadesh-Barnea after God led them out of their bondage in Egypt. Moses gathered together the twelve best men of all Israel, the best one from each tribe to spy out the land. They performed their mission and gave Moses their report.
At this point, they were poised to enter Canaan. God had promised them the land. According to Joshua and Caleb, there was nothing to hinder them from entering in and “possessing what God had already conquered for them!” Ten of the spies saw strong walled cities, they saw men as giants, the land eats up the inhabitants…they saw EVERYTHING BUT GOD! The circumstances blinded their eyes and unbelief engulfed their hearts. Have you been there? I have, and was utterly defeated by my own yielding to circumstances rather than daring to trust God "in" them.
God was not going to impose His will on Israel or make them enter the land when they were not willing to trust Him. You might say, “How stupid could they be? God promised to give them victory over every foe, provide a land that flows with milk and honey, and lead them by His presence and power. What more could they ask?” Has God not provided us with a greater, more gracious, and an abundant covenant than they had? Before us lie “acres of diamonds” ready to be claimed, and we stroll by unaffected, untouched, and unwilling to reach out to those so urgently in need physically, emotionally, and spiritually! We stand blinded by the comfort and cares of our own selfish life-style.
Caleb said, “They are bread for us: their defense is departed from them.” Let us go in, not to conquer the enemy…BUT TO POSSESS WHAT GOD HAS ALREADY WON FOR US! Is it any wonder God looked down on this scene with disgust at the unbelief of those who He had just delivered from 400 years of abuse, slavery, and captivity, only to see them encumbered with unbelief. They turned an eleven-day journey into forty years of wandering in the wilderness. Jordon and the wilderness were not in God’s plan for them…that was the result of their choice! UNBELIEF RULED!
Are you at “Kadesh-Barnea” in your life? Poised in unbelief before all that God wants to do in your life? Are you stymied, frustrated, and in doubt whether to take refuge in the illusive security of this world…or “dare to believe” in ONE who wants to give you freedom from your bondage. What an unbelievable decision they made, and the consequences that befell them! You might say, “Well, what was the result?” NOT ONE of the Israelites that left Egypt entered the promised land except Joshua and Caleb. THE CONSEQUENCES OF UNBELIEF!
God has a plan and purpose for your life! Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). He wants you to experience His peace, His joy, His love, and His grace. But this must first begin with receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior. Then your spiritual journey begins with the joy of walking in a blessed companionship with the LORD! He will be your sufficiency for every encounter! ONLY BELIEVE!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-09-02
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