In the thirteenth chapter of Numbers we come across an account of espionage. Moses puts together a group of twelve spies, one from each ancestral tribe, to go into the land that God had promised to them. Amongst these spies were Joshua from the tribe of Ephraim and Caleb from the tribe of Judah. Moses gives them directions into the land and gives them a list of things for them to report on.
17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)
The spies were there for 40 days. They gathered as much information as possible and even brought fruit from the land. While all twelve experienced and saw the same things, not all felt the same about what to do. Ten of the twelve spies agreed that the land was indeed flowing with milk and honey, but fear set in and they said it was not a land they could possess.
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.
Joshua and Caleb, however, felt differently. They agreed that the land was flowing with milk and honey, they agreed that the fruit was delicious, they even agreed that the people that lived there were powerful, and the cities were fortified and very large. Where they differed was on what to do. Joshua and Caleb silenced the concerned spectators. Their faith in God’s Word gave them the certainty to go up and take possession of the land. The other spies, unfortunately, could not get past their fear and instead of telling people to trust in God, they spread their fear among the people.
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.”
We face struggles and problems in life that, often times, are bigger than us and can cause us to fear. We can easily be like the ten spies and spread the fear to those around us, proclaim defeat and surrender. Or. We can be like Joshua and Caleb, that in spite of what they saw around them, they chose to focus on the blessings, the promises, the faithfulness, and the power of God. We need to remember that no matter how big the problems in our life are, God is bigger! Ephesians helps us keep our focus on Him.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Look at His promise: He will strengthen us with power through the Holy Spirit that dwells with us, within, and around us. Because of His love for us, Jesus dwells in our hearts, which is why we are now more than conquers in Him (Romans 8:37). We are rooted in Him, established in His love. Focusing on Him will help us grasp just how wide, and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for us. His love alone overcomes the fear that comes with our limited knowledge. Not only does it overcome it, His Word says it surpasses it!
So, what problems could there be in your life, that Jesus has not already given you the victory over? What areas of your life have you been hiding from in fear? What situations in your life have stunted your faith in God? What has distracted you from focusing on God? Will you become a Joshua and Caleb? Or will you be content on being one of the other 10 spies?
I trust in You and believe in Your Word. I choose to focus on Your blessings, Your promises, Your faithfulness, and Your power in my life. I thank You for the gift of salvation that You have given me and for Your Holy Spirit that strengthens me. I release my fear and will move forward with boldness and courage, keeping my focus on You. AMEN!
Your servant in Christ,