February 4, 2023
“Then the Lord descended in a pillar of cloud, stood at the entrance to the tent, and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them came forward, He said...”
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“Then Caleb quieted the people in the presence of Moses and said, ‘We must go up and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it!’ But the men who had gone up with him responded, ‘We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are!’ So they gave a negative report to the Israelite community about the land they had scouted: ‘The land we passed through to explore is one that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great size.’” Numbers 13:30-32
Any courtroom attorney will tell you that an eyewitness account is not always dependable. Sometimes, circumstantial and forensic evidence is better. In clinical studies, where several people are subject to experience a random event, the post-occurrence interviews can vary greatly.
When faced with a challenge, people respond from one of two positions: Scarcity or Abundance. We see both responses in today’s chapter. This is the dilemma of the return of Israel’s spies.
Joshua and Caleb approached the “promised land” from the position of abundance. They matched their human experience with God’s promise. When they weighed the “abundance” of God’s power and presence against the “scarcity” of giants who trusted in false gods, they saw the apparent outcome of the impending war…that it would favor Israel. In short, they were men of faith.
Of course, the ten other spies saw Israel’s situation from the standpoint of scarcity. They were faithless and chose to trust only the resources they could see. There was no room in their plan for God’s miraculous intervention.
If being a part of the stadium outreach events of Greg Laurie taught me anything, it was that where God guides, He provides. (And usually in that order!) For that matter, the Harvest events’ enduring impact on the “Church-at-large” will most certainly extend beyond scores of converts, which is a number that can be counted. The hidden impact of the events is that the Harvest organization acted as a “Caleb or Joshua,” encouraging local congregations with the message, “We can take this land!” That encouragement is infectious!
There is another overriding moral of this story. Before God said, “Take the land,” He said, “Send the spies.” Perhaps, the perspective God was providing Moses was not, “Is the land worth fighting for?” but instead, “Is Israel faithful enough to fight for the land?”
When we study the Bible, and faithfully seek God, we are sowing the “seeds of readiness.” In this way, we will be prepared to respond faithfully whenever God says, “GO!” trusting He will provide what is lacking presently to accomplish what He commands today.
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©Steve Wiggins 2021