February 13 Bible Reading: Numbers Chapters 13-15
And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, "How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. Say to them, 'As I live,' says the Lord, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in." (Num 14:26-30)
When we read Numbers 13 and 14, we shake our heads in dismay seeing how the Israelites displayed their unbelief as they were about to enter the Promised Land that God had promised their forefather Abraham back in Gen. 12:1-3. Under the leadership of Moses, God had brought them up even to the boundary of Canaan after showing mighty signs, wonders and miracles to display His infinite power and majesty. The only reason God displayed all these signs and wonders were so that the Israelites would just believe His Word!
God had made it very clear to the Israelites that the land of Canaan was a gift from Him to His people. Notice what God had said: "Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel..." (Num 13:2). The twelve Israelite spies soon found out that Canaan was indeed the land that was flowing with milk and honey being fruitful in every way (v. 27). However, they had to drive out the strong inhabitants who occupied the land, and they were a formidable enemy (vv. 28-29). The Israelites now had to believe God at His Word without doubting, trust in the power of God to help them, march forward in faith and occupy their land of promise!
Unfortunately, their faith in God turned to fear as they lost their confidence in God as well as their self-confidence (vv. 31-33). They saw their own inabilities instead of the power of God that would have been unleashed on their behalf had they rallied together to fight their enemy with God’s help. Acting in this manner, they rejected God due to their unbelief (14:11) as they even planned to select a leader to return to their old life of slavery in Egypt (14:4). The tragedy in this episode was that none of these people could enter the Promised Land, except Joshua and Caleb who alone trusted in God (14:29-30).
God has called us to "stand fast in the faith" (1 Cor 16:13), "walk by faith" (2 Cor. 5:7), "live by faith" (Rom. 1:17) and "fight the good fight of faith" (1 Timothy 6:12). Let us understand that we are missing out the best that God has in store for us because of our unbelief (lack of faith). If we truly have to live a rich and satisfying life that God has in store for us (John 10:10), then let us trust completely in the word of God and in the power of God that will work for us in the right moment. We can only truly please God through our faith in Him!
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Heb 11:6)