In Numbers 13-14, we read about a very critical moment in the life of the Israelites. They had just been saved from slavery in Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, and were preparing to take possession of the Promised Land.
God tells Moses to send 1 man from each of the 12 tribes of Israel to scout out the land of Canaan. When the men return, 10 of them had attitudes of fear, while only 2 had attitudes of faith.
TRUTHS ABOUT GOD
From this passage, we learn two key truths about God:
#1 – God is bigger than our circumstances.
Entering the land of Canaan looked like an impossible task to the Israelites. They feared the inhabitants, were uncertain of what to expect, and began to fear that they would die in the wilderness. But God was bigger than their circumstances.
#2 – God always keeps His promises.
God made a promise to the Israelites to save them from slavery and give them, His people, the Promised Land, the land of Canaan, flowing with milk and honey.
Twelve men, one from each tribe of Israel, went to Canaan to scout out the land and report back to Moses their findings.
All twelve men went into Canaan. All twelve men traveled the same route, saw the people living there, they saw the large cluster of grapes.
While all twelve men experienced the same things, ten of them had attitudes of fear and reported their findings differently than the two men who had attitudes of faith.
The men who were full of fear reported on giant men and strong fortifications. The men of faith reported that they were ready to go and conquer the land God had promised them.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FEAR AND FAITH
I am alone.
I am too weak.
I am scared.
I can’t make it.
I am with you. (Isaiah 41:10)
I am your strength. (Philippians 4:13)
I am your courage. (Romans 8:31)
I’ll get you through it. (1 Corin. 10:13)
I can. (Mark 10:27)
Fearful people always find the negative.
“But the men who had gone up with him responded, ‘We can’t attack the people because they are stronger than we are!'” – Numbers 13:31
Fearful people exaggerate the story.
“So they gave a negative report to the Israelites about the land they had scouted: ‘The land we passed through to explore is one that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great size.'” – Numbers 13:32
Fearful people cause others to fear.
“Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the people wept that night.” – Numbers 14:1
Faithful people focus on the positive.
“[Caleb and Joshua] said to the entire Israelite community: ‘The land we passed through and explored is an extremely good land.’ – Numbers 14:7
Faithful people remember God’s promises.
“If the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us into this land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and give it to us.” – Numbers 14:8
Faithful people model obedience to God, and inspire courage in others.
“Only don’t rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land, for we will devour them. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us. Don’t be afraid of them!”– Numbers 14:9