For the last few days I have been thinking about a few spies sent to scout out some land. Perhaps you remember them as well …
Moses sent twelve men, one from each tribe of Israel, to go and see the land which God had promised to the people. Their instructions …
“See what the land is like, and find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many. See what kind of land they live in. Is it good or bad? Do their towns have walls, or are they unprotected like open camps. Are there many trees? Do your best to bring back samples of the crops you see.”
(Numbers 13:18-20, NLT)
The men do exactly as instructed, exploring the land for forty days and then returning to give their report. And so the report begins …
“We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country – a land flowing with milk and honey.” (verse 27)
And then the shoe drops …
“But the people living there are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!” (verse 28)
And if that were not enough, they continued …
“All the people were huge. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” (verse 33)
These ten spies could only see with their natural eyes and minds, forgetting all which God had already promised to them. Their report quickly became exaggerated and spread like wildfire through the whole community. The response of the people?
Weeping aloud, they cried all night. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. (Numbers 14:1-2, NLT)
Seriously? How quickly they had forgotten all which God had already done for them – providing for their needs, rescuing them from their captivity, leading them day and night through the wilderness.
And sometimes, we are just like them, seeing the glass half empty all the time. Much like my friend, Eeyore, attempts at optimism, fall short.
But there were two spies, Caleb and Joshua, who were able to see things differently. They saw the land through the lens of faith, from God’s perspective …
But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” (Numbers 13:30, NLT)
On those days, when life seems unsurmountable, may we not focus on the problem. May we not let our imaginations run wild and grow huge in our minds.
Instead may we focus on the One who overcame all odds.
For it is in Him, we can certainly conquer.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, NIV)