I saw sermon online with this title. I didn’t read the sermon, but I did read the passage it was based on: Numbers 13. In this chapter, it recounts how God told Moses to send men to explore the land of Canaan – the promised land. Once I read the chapter in it’s entirety, I better understood the question that people often ask – Whose report will you believe?
First, God told Moses to send men out to EXPLORE the land, and Moses obeys. The Amplified version uses the word scout. Numbers 13: 1-3, NLT: “The Lord now said to Moses, ‘Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.’ So Moses did as the Lord commanded him… Second, Moses gives specific instructions to these twelve men: Numbers 13: 17 – 20, NLT: “Moses gave the men these instructions as he sent them out to explore the land: ‘Go north through the Negev into the hill country. See what the land is like, and find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many. See what kind of land they live in. is it good or bad? Do their towns all have walls, or are they unprotected like open camps? Is the soil fertile or poor? Are there many trees? Do your best to bring back samples of the crops you see” I think these are good guidelines, right? I mean, you want to know what your promised land is like – especially if God is telling you to scout it out.
But watch what happens when the 12 men come back: Numbers 13: 27: This was their report to Moses: ‘We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it’s indeed a bountiful country – a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. BUT…” Everything after but was a disaster. They didn’t even answer all the questions Moses sent them to answer. They went on and on about how the inhabitants were giants and how they felt like grasshoppers in comparison, and how they were a powerful nation living in a fortified city. And then they went and spread these rumors throughout the rest of the camp. Then the rest of the camp wailed and cried all night long, talking about how God took them out of Egypt to hand them over to Canaanites. Uhm, hello…weren’t you slaves to people who worked you like dogs and according to their own agendas? Weren’t you forced to worship gods besides the True and Living God? Weren’t you oppressed, overworked and beaten? First you cried out to God to get you out of Egypt, now you’re wailing all night because you “heard” that the promised land wasn’t going to happen? Which is it? Do you want to be delivered or not?
I guess Caleb was the only one who really wanted deliverance, because he was like “Forget all that…let’s take the land at once…right now!” Honestly, I can see why Moses threw the 10 commandments down on the ground and why he had anger issues. I probably would have done the same and had the same issues if I had to deal with batty, crazy, insubordinate, foolish and scared people like this too. The fact that they brought back a grape cluster that had to be carried by two men should have told them something (verse 23). It should have told them that not only was the land flowing with milk and honey like God said it was, but that they were going to be living it up and eating good! And if it was so bad, why did it take the scouts 40 days to come back with the report (verse 25)? Probably because they feasted on the fruit of the land to their heart’s content right before deciding that God was a liar. Fear will make you do, say and think some crazy things.
I’ll make it plain. If God told you He had a husband/wife for you, why are you worried about the supposed 1:20 ratio of men to women or why all the “marriage material” women seem to like the wrong men? If God told you that there was a better job (or in this economy a job at all) out there for you, why are you listening to your friends when they tell you that there are no jobs in this economy? If God told you to start a ministry, why are you letting people roadblock you and tell you there’s no room for your gift? If God told you your disease or illness can be healed, why are you accepting the doctor’s report of it being terminal? If God told you that you are not a statistic and that your pain/ugly past/mistake is your ministry, why do you let people tell you you’ll never have/do/be more?
Now…I’m talking to myself too, because honestly, this is how I have to talk to myself to remember to believe God’s report – not anyone else’s. With God all things are possible, and His math supersedes all the statistics created by man. Matthew 19:26. Understand that you alone cannot do it – which is why you need God. You can’t do it, but He can. It’s scary, I know. But be scared and do what God told you to do anyways. Otherwise, you’ll be looking like the foolish scouts who had EVIDENCE IN HAND that God was going to do what He said, all while telling Him He’s a liar.