Numbers chapters 13 and 14 contain the account of twelve spies who were sent by Moses on a reconnaissance mission in the promised land. I believe there is at least one key in this account that will help us unlock the plan of God. One of these in particular is the danger of allowing our focus to be placed on external circumstances for guidance instead of God’s Word.
30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
The spies had returned. Ten provided a report that the Bible calls “evil”. It was focused on perceived Israeli weaknesses based on what they saw. This upset the people.
Caleb stood up and encouraged the nation to continue and possess the land promised to them by God. He and Joshua had seen the same things that the other spies had seen but had a much different report.
This report was based on the Word of God. They had seen the same obstacles as the other ten but chose to place their trust in God.
Faith grounded in the Word of God is faith that will not be denied. It can see the plan of God and will press forward to possess all that God has provided.
Joshua and Caleb approached their assignment in the promised land differently from the other spies. They completed their mission with an impression built from looking at the land through the lens of God’s promise to give them victory.
Ten spies saw land that would devour the people of Israel.
Two spies saw a land filled with promise and the provision of God.
1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.
2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
3 And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
The ten led a whole nation into unbelief. A whole generation was unable to enter into the plan of God because they chose to pay heed to the report of these ten spies.
Joshua and Caleb chose to believe the Word of God. They were forced to wait for their generation to die in the wilderness but both eventually entered into the promised land which was the plan of God for those unable to enter.
The plan of God is full of provision, healing, and freedom. Entering in will require us to elevate our vision. We must train ourselves to always look to the Word of God. This is the path that will enable us to enjoy all that our creator has planned for us.
Moses was the leader of Israel when the people chose to reject Joshua and Caleb’s report of God’s provision. God’s plan was for him to lead the nation into the promised land.
We do not have evidence that the people’s decision to reject the plan of God disqualified him from being able to enter. His disqualification came at another time in a fit of anger (Numbers 20:6-12).
Moses was not disqualified by the people’s decision but he was unable to fulfill his call to lead them in by their rebellion. David was God’s second choice to rule Israel. Joshuah was also God’s second choice. Moses’ anger resulted in Joshua’s promotion!
Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.
Moses was the most humble man on earth. His humility did not earn him a free pass with God. We must always be aware that our acceptance of God is based on our position in Christ and not on our works or humility.
Saul and Moses both were unable to fulfill the plan of God due to disobedience. I wonder how many ministers have also discovered and entered into the plan of God only to fall by the wayside.
The Bible includes stories of people like Moses, Joshua, and Saul which tells us we will all have faults and miss God at times. I believe that this points to our need for a Savior.
One mistake cost Saul his kingdom.
One fit of anger cost Moses the opportunity to lead Israel into the promised land.
Both men lived before Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus’ door has opened the door for mercy to be extended. We too will make mistakes but the blood of Jesus enables us to be forgiven and continue in the plan of God.
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