We started our Circle Maker small group last night and it was great! One of the passages we read was Numbers 13:26-33. We pick up the story where God had told them to check out the land of Canaan, which he was GIVING them. Spies went in to see what they were facing and came back to give a report. Keep in mind that what they were seeing was already promised to be theirs! Here is a condensed version of what happened:
26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community. There they reported to them 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. 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 am so struck by this passage, it’s astounding! How many times in our lives does God give us a promise and we doubt the fulfillment of that promise? Both spies saw the same thing, knew the same promise, and yet came back with two profoundly different takes on the situation. Where do you tend to fall in this story? Are you the “We can certainly do it!” type when God hands you an opportunity of blessing or do you see all of the difficult challenges and “spread among the people a bad report”.
Honestly, I think we probably all fall on both sides of that fence now and again, but it is certainly a push for me to listen to the voice of God and, without wavering in the details, to proclaim “WE CAN DO THIS!”