May 21, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them." Numbers 14:9
What a heart-searching scene this is. It is hard to imagine that after God had faithfully delivered the Children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt, had met their daily needs with manna from heaven, had given them water in the desert, and had met every need during their wilderness journey, that they should balk in unbelief at the report of spies. They were on the threshold of entering the "promised land" that flowed with milk and honey.
One of the follies that we often fall into is the same they exhibited here, one that brings discouragement, despair, and defeat. That is an unbelieving heart and a disobedient spirit. They had everything to bolster undaunted faith, but their utter downfall resulted from the ugliness of a heart out of touch with God. Because of unbelief, none of the Children of Israel that left Egypt entered the Promised Land, except Joshua and Caleb. How sad, when God had given them a no-risk, sure-victory command to receive the blessings He prepared for them! You say, "How could they not respond with enthusiasm and great joy, and enter with confident hearts, knowing He would destroy every enemy in their way?" The answer is the same today: THEY HAD LOST SIGHT OF GOD!
They were well aware of the existence of difficulties, but denied the provisions of conquering grace. They recognized the people were mighty, but God is almighty. Their cities were fortified with strong walls, but can they be stronger than God? They fight with their "fleshly" resources; we are privileged to trust in the might of the Living God. They are many and powerful, but they are only as "bread for us" and shall be devoured as easily as food we eat. And what were the confident shouts of Joshua and Caleb? We have nothing to do but to trust in God; we are as sure of victory as if all of our enemies were already slain. Let us go up then, not to conquer the land but to possess it. God has already fought the battle and secured the victory! How encouraging this was and how it should have instilled unquestioned faith and determined perseverance! There was not one negative word from Joshua and Caleb, who did everything to convince, comfort, and encourage them!
Can we see ourselves in all of this? Faced with difficulty, adversity, or heartache, we quiver with "unbelief" and are consumed with fear. We quickly forget how God has so wonderfully provided and sustained us, delivered us from so many perplexing circumstances, and met our every need. Yet we allow unbelief and sin to prevail and to bring utter defeat. WE HAVE LOST SIGHT OF GOD! David says, "I lift up mine eyes unto the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." Where are you looking TODAY? Look to the Lord, the strength for our every need, the refuge for our every fear, the comfort for our every care, who will faithfully direct your steps and order your way. With unrelenting perseverance put your trust in the mighty hand of God!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php=1&row=&date=2023-05-21
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