THE BOOK OF NUMBERS
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A cheerful welcome back to all of you
from Daily Bread. We've been sojourning through the book of Numbers in our
Bible study, and the last time, we learned about dissension and the Lord's
dislike of it.
The topic of today's story is a quite
pleasant one. In today's story we're going to learn a little bit about the
The Lord told Moses to send one man
from the rulers of each of the tribes of Israel to search the land of Canaan
that He gave to them. The list of the spies that went are in
13:4-16. Just for clarification, in Verse 8, Oshea, and in Verse 16, Jehoshua, are both one and the same person. We know them as Joshua.
Now why would God want to send spies?
God knew the land, after all, He created it. Ah, but don't forget, you have
hundreds of thousands of people, going to a place they've never been before
to overtake it. They don't know what to expect and they've been
apprehensive nearly the whole way. A little bit of first hand encouragement
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Moses gave them directions to go up
into the mountain. He told them to check out the land, see what it looks
like, what kind of people are living there and whether they're strong or
weak, and few or many. Moses said, Find out if the land is good or bad and
what cities they live in, whether they live in tents or in houses. Is the
soil rich or weak, is there wood in it or not?
Moses said, Be brave and have faith,
and bring back some of the fruit of the land with you so we can see it. So
they went up and searched the land all the way from the wilderness of Zin to
Rehob, which is from south of the Salt Sea all the way up to the Sea of
They came back down and saw Hebron
where the children of Anak the giant were. When they got to the brook of
Eshcol it was the season of the year for first ripe grapes and they cut down
a branch with one single cluster that was so big that two of them had
to carry it on a pole between them! They brought it back with them, along
with pomegranates and figs. They called the place the brook of Eshcol
because of the cluster of grapes that the children of Israel cut down from
there. Eshcol means, Bunch of grapes.
After forty days, the spies returned
to the wilderness of Paran and showed them the fruit of the Promised Land.
They told them, When we came to the land where you sent us, it was truly
flowing with milk and honey, and this is the fruit of it. But the people
that live there are strong and the cities are walled and very big, and
what's more, we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the
south land, the Hitties, Jebusites and Amorites live in the mountains and
the Canaanites live by the sea and by the coast of Jordan.
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Caleb, who was one of the spies,
quieted the people down that were gathered by Moses and said, Let's go right
now and take it, we're certainly strong enough to overcome it! He saw the
abundance that God had waiting there for them. But was he the only one who
could see it? The other men that went up to spy with Caleb disagreed, We
can't fight against those people. They're stronger than we are. They
reported all the bad things about their search to the children of Israel.
They said, The land destroys anyone who lives there and all the people that
we saw there were very tall. We saw the giants, the sons of Anak, and we
felt like grasshoppers. That's what we looked like to them!
Millions of people are ready to settle
for less than the abundance that God intends for them because they
misunderstand or forget how He can bring it to pass. Did the children of
Israel forget about their defeat of the Amalekites when they attacked the
children of Israel from behind in Rephidim? Did they forget that all Moses
had to do was hold up the staff of God and they were victorious? Maybe.
Maybe it was fear that made them want to give up hope before they even
started into the Promised Land.
How many times has God shown us the
clusters of grapes that we could have, but for one reason or another, we
haven't fully trusted Him to carry through with His gifts of abundance? Is
it really Him that we don't believe can come through, or is it that
subconsciously, we really think we have to do it all by ourselves and it is
our own selves that we don't think can do it?
Perhaps our idea of abundance is a
little skewed. Do a little spying on yourself and ask yourself, what is
abundance to me? Is it money? Is it material wealth? Is it fame? Or is
it making a difference for God? What is the fruit that you're searching for
in your land? Sometimes we think we don't deserve His abundance. Don't
settle for less than the abundance that the Lord intends and HAS waiting for
you. Let Him work through you to bring you a fruitful life
that will amaze you. Remember, nothing is too big for God. Not a giant,
and not the abundance that He wants for you.
What do you think will happen next for
the children of Israel? Join us again next time and see, here at Daily