Moses was instructed by the Lord
to send twelve spies into the land of Canaan...
the land which God said... I am giving to the children of Israel.
The reason for the twelve, was to be representative...
each one of the tribes was to send one man.
And they were given instruction, what to look for, what to bring back.
And they were gone for forty days.
Upon their return, they brought back the fruit of the land.
And they began to report...
how the land did indeed flow with milk and honey,
but the people who lived there were very strong,
and their cities were fortified.
And ten of the twelve spies asserted...
"We are not able to go up against the people...
for they are stronger than we."
So they gave a bad report, causing the Israelites to fear.
But the other two... Joshua and Caleb...
they strove to quiet the people, to calm their fears,
to encourage them with a good report.
“The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.
If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us,
‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’
Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land,
for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them,
and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”
But the congregation lifted their voices... weeping and complaining,
against Moses... against God.
And all the congregation said to stone them with stones.
We all face it.
But here we see this multitude, on the edge of their promised land.
So very close to what God is ready to give them.
He tells Moses... to send spies into Canaan, which I am giving to the children...
That is present tense.
He means NOW!
Like as soon as the spies get back.
God wasn't asking for the spies opinion... it was meant to be tactical.
And it gets me to wondering...
About Joshua and Caleb.
How ready to go they were... these two warriors who had seen this great place.
Because if you know the rest of this historical account, the people listen to the ten and grumble and complain. For that, God punishes them! And that is why they wander in the wilderness for 40 years... one year for each of the 40 days the spies were on mission. God has said that none of the children of Israel... none of the original who were delivered from Egypt will enter the promised land, except for Joshua and Caleb. Why? Because of their complaining!
Pretty high price to pay.
And it gets me to wondering.
About Joshua and Caleb... yep, repeating myself.
Because they had to hangout
and be punished with these people for that same 40 years.
How would that make you feel?
I, actually, would be pretty furious!
Like... God, can't you just carve out a little piece for Caleb and me to go in?
But nope, they had to remain with the others.
Have you ever been held back by someone else's complaining?
Someone else's bad attitude, fear or doubt?
Sometimes, if we hang around them too much, it actually begins to rub off.
And there is nothing worse.
It actually seems easier to catch a negative attitude that a positive one.
But I love what Caleb says to the people...
If the Lord delights in us,
then He will bring us into this land and give it to us...
That means, if the Lord is pleased with us because of our obedience...
because of our attitude and behavior.
It is separate and distinct from His love for us,
which is unconditional,
not based on what we do, not something we earn.
We already have the love of the Lord.
So how can we see that He delights in us?
By not complaining...
why this, and why not that?
By not rebelling against Him...
not giving our opinion when He directs us,
or thinking His ways over so much,
but rather just obeying quickly.
Not fearing people...
because we know that God is with us,
He is on our side.
And then He will bring us into the land...
whatever it is He has for us...
His perfect plan, without uncertainty.
Word of God... train me, today...
to trust Your plan for my life,
to step forward even in uncertainty because You delight in us.
Lord, help me to trust always,
that You have a better plan for us.
Even in uncertain times
we will trust that You will provide.
Hold my tongue from complaining,
let me ever be thankful
and always delight in You,
as You delight in us.
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