Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Numbers 13-15

Numbers 13-15 is a pivotal moment for the Israelites as they journey to the Promise Land with God.  God sends 12 representatives from each of the 12 tribes of Israel to leave the Desert of Paran and explore Canaan.  Finally, God's people are right on the verge of realizing God's promise to live in a land "flowing with milk and honey."  Moses tells these distinguished Israelite leaders exactly what to do and how to do it, just as God told him.  And what do God's people do?  Ten of the twelve, so called leaders, basically start a rebellion against God with their own doubtful words.  It's tragic for the entire community.  Their disobedience leads to forty more years of wandering around, suffering in the wilderness.

The real leaders in today's reading are Caleb and Joshua, the two men who explored the Promise Land in their faith instead of with their own minds.

They do exactly what God told them to do.  They trust God.  They see the land and it's blessings.  They focus on those.  They believe God for His Word.  They remember His promises.  They speak out against the majority of doubtful followers.  It's a tough spot to be in, but Caleb and Joshua rely on the truth.  

If only we could all be as brave as these two heroes!  How do they do it?

I think the answer is so simple and so easy to miss in our own overwhelming moments.  Those two guys know God and His faithfulness. Instead of relying on their own ability to be faithful (which is so limited and vulnerable to circumstances), they count on God's faithfulness.

While the masses are complaining about the impossibility of the situation they "see" in front of them, Caleb and Joshua remind the people of God's truth.

and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

And now, instead of relying on our own imperfect actions (which fall short so often), we have Jesus who died for all of our sins, for yesterday, today, and all of our tomorrows.

If we accept Jesus, if we believe in Him and repent, we ARE forgiven, period.

God has proven forever, through Jesus Christ that, He loves us unconditionally above and beyond what we could ever deserve on our own.  We have His grace at work in us.  The Holy Spirit is always with us, ready to lead us and empower us.  We do not ever have to go anywhere or do anything on our own. 

God's faithfulness is a sure thing in every situation!

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank you for the freedom Jesus gives me from my sins.  With each step I take, I pray Your Holy Spirit will give me a clear sense of direction.  I do not ever want to lose my focus on You.  

Today, I hear You telling me that I do not ever have to be afraid because You are with me.  I know You will take care of all the scary details with which I struggle.  Fill all the aching places in my life with Your healing love and peace.  

Show me new ways to reach out to others with Your love and make meaningful connections.  Help me to be brave and faithful like Caleb and Joshua.

I am so thankful for all Your blessings for me today, little and big _______________________ (name those on your mind).  You deserve all praise and honor, Lord, forever.

In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit,

Grace and peace,


*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more. 



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