26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
I so want to be like Joshua and Caleb, ready to take God at his word, to believe I can do what he says I can, and that he is with me every step of the way. There have been times when I am ready to take on the world; but then, like the Israelites, I look at the situation through my own eyes. That is never the way to accomplish a God-sized task. You need God-sized eyes!
There were twelve men who went to spy out the land. They carried home fruit that took two of them to carry. I can’t even imagine grapes that large! They verified the land was flowing with milk and honey, just as God had told them. God had been with them all this way. He saved them from the Egyptians, he performed miracles in the desert, yet 10 of them doubted his power and protection if they pursued his promise to them. Not only did they doubt, their words created doubt and fear in the rest of the nation. They were ready to pack their bags and head back to Egypt–but not before stoning the few who believed God and chose to take him at his word.
I have been struggling with this issue of “doubt” recently. Through some rather significant losses in my life, I started doubting God’s goodness. Even as he has shown himself to me through this grieving process, there are days I find myself depressed. God has been so very good to me. I am thankful for who he is and all he has done. In order to battle it, I have found I need to pray a hedge of protection around my mind through prayer, I need to concentrate on specific verses God has given me for strength, and I need to remember. Sometimes I have to “remember” out loud so I can hear myself. It reminds me of Joshua standing before the Israelites (You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. (Josh 23:14)) The closer I draw to him, the more I depend on him, the more I celebrate the victories we made together, the less likely I am to sit in that place of defeat.
Yes, Lord—I pray for eyes that see things as you do. I have no need to fear; I can be afraid but push through knowing you have my back. Instead of seeing an insurmountable obstacle, I want to see the path you forged ahead of me. Thank you that I have so many memories of your goodness. Thank you that I know your Word to be true. Thank you that you are “slow to anger and abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.” Bless your holy name! In Jesus name, Amen.