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A valuable lesson in today's reading makes known the frightening dangers of disbelief so that the Lord is prevented from providing our needs.
We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey. . . . We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we (Num. 13:27,31).
The twelve heads of the children of Israel (13:3) were selected to spy out the land (13:17) and the tribe of Reuben led the way. So they went up, and searched the land. . . . and came unto Hebron (13:21-22). It was at Hebron that Abraham had built an altar unto God. The spies had stood where Abraham stood when God promised him the land of Canaan (Gen. 13:18). But neither of these thrilling events was included in their report. They could see only the high walls and the giants.
Although it was not the "perfect" will of God, He knew their unbelief and spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan (Num. 13:1-2).
Moses spoke in faith when he said: Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it . . . fear not, neither be discouraged. But the people refused and said: We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up (Deut. 1:21-22). They wanted to see what lay ahead before they acted upon the Word of God. To depend on our own logic and physical senses before we commit ourselves to the Lord's work is a denial of our faith in Him.
After the land was spied out, Joshua and Caleb spoke in faith when they said: The Lord is with us: fear them not (Num. 14:9). But again the people refused!
Many become frightened at the giants of difficulties, but no one can prevent the will of God from being accomplished in the weakest Christian who will trust in His strength (Phil. 4:13). Unbelief in the sufficiency of God keeps Him from fulfilling His abundant promises.
As Christians, we must recognize that spiritual victories are never obtained without a battle, and one must trust God to perform what He has promised.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).
Thought for Today:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might (Eph. 6:10).
By Moses, who was very meek (humble), above all the men which were upon the face of the earth (Num. 12:3). Jesus said: I am meek (gentle, mild) and lowly in heart (Matt. 11:29).
12:3 meek = humble, gentle; 12:8 apparently = clearly; in dark speeches = difficult to understand; similitude = likeness; 12:13 beseech = beg; 13:16 spy out = view; 13:20 fat or lean = fertile or barren; 13:23 brook = valley; 13:30 possess = conquer; 13:32 eateth up = destroys.
Optional Reading: Luke 5