February 28, 2023
“The daughters of Zelophehad did as the Lord commanded Moses. Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, married cousins on their father’s side.”
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“When the Lord heard the sound of your words, He grew angry and swore with an oath: ‘None of these men in this evil generation will see the good land I swore to give your fathers, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land on which he has set foot, because he followed the Lord completely.’ The Lord was angry with me also because of you and said: ‘You will not enter there either. Joshua son of Nun, who attends you, will enter it. Encourage him, for he will enable Israel to inherit it.’” Deuteronomy 1:34-38 (HCSB)
Some say, “I’ll believe in Jesus if I could see Him.” That is, they would believe if they could understand Him. When it comes to following Jesus: Seeing is not believing. Believing is seeing. Joshua and Caleb believed God’s promise and saw the victory BEFORE the battle.
I love roller coasters, but I used to be terrified of them. Even as an adult, I would perform concerts at theme parks and watch my bandmates enjoy the rides. They’d say, “Come on!” But I’d always find some excuse not to. All the while, I was paralyzed by the terror of being out of control and something tragic happening. Isn’t that silly?
Here’s how I overcame that phobia. My wife made me! We were given VIP (meaning we didn’t have to wait in line) passes to the Universal theme park, and she made me ride the rides with her! After a few rides, I was having the time of my life. All it took was for me to BELIEVE everything would be OK, then I SAW the fun I had missed out on all those years.
It’s much the same with following Jesus. Many are paralyzed by the fear of what might happen if they left everything familiar in the world and trusted Jesus. Some things cannot be known “this side of the cross.” You simply have to trust the Bible and the testimony of believers around you, matched by their observably changed lives. Then, you must believe and go for it!
Like Caleb and Joshua, believing is seeing. Because they believed God’s Word, despite the overwhelming odds, they saw the victory. God honored their faith, and He punished the faithlessness of those of Israel whose fear overrode their faith.
How small was the remnant of Israel from the generation that Moses led out of Egypt? The remnant consisted of 2 guys: Caleb and Joshua. Many were left out, and very few entered. So, let’s focus on our generation. Will you receive the reward that awaits the faithful, or will you suffer the rebuke of most faithless people in our midst... those who lay aside God’s Word in favor of their own “expert analysis”...those deceived, who claim to have faith in Jesus, yet have practiced only Jesus-themed paganism?
“Many will say to in Me that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:22-23 (NKJV)
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©Steve Wiggins 2021