Number 13: 1-33- Numbers 14 : 1-9
1And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; 17Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, 18and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; 19whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; 20whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes. 25And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.26Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; 27Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 30Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”
I woke up one of the recent mornings with Darwin Hobb’s song, ‘He’s Able’ in my heart. It was louder than normal and I suddenly began to think of God’s ability. Then today’s text came to my mind and I was drawn to pull out my Bible to read it. As I began to read it, I found so many thoughts running through my mind as I juxtaposed the land of Canaan before some of things I thought God was saying to me.
For what seemed like the first time, I began to appreciate why the 10 spies felt the way they did. They said the land eats up its inhabitants. To them these giants were ones the land could not eat, maybe because they were giants. Since the people of Israel were not giants, they did not see how they could survive in the land. They saw the land was good land but their view of the land being a devouring land was predominant in their minds. That was the one they held on to. I am not so sure I blame them anymore.
Before now, because of the hindsight we have, knowing how Joshua and Caleb led the children of Israel into the land, I always thought the 10 spies were stupid. But in recent times, there position became clearer to me. As I tried to build up faith to take the ‘land’ God has promised me. I could see that the land was good but I just could not see myself taking it. It looked totally impossible. This is me who has walked with God for almost 26 years. I can tell of the marvellous things He has done for me and my family. I have been in prayer for months now, yet I was here. I was never in Egyptian bondage, yet I was frustrated because I could not believe it would happen.
However, I woke up with the song ‘He’s Able’ and I knew I could not allow myself stay in the place of feeling like a grasshopper. So I changed my focus to Joshua and Caleb. I magnified God’s presence in my life. I began to see Him in His majestic power and how all that power is available to me. I saw my circumstances like what they truly were-bread for God.
I also saw that they circumstances looked really massive because I was looking at them in their bigness. So I broke them down into smaller doable units that made them appear surmountable. They moved from being one big impossible piece to smaller possible pieces. And life did not look so bad after all.
Beyond the circumstances, I looked at the things God had accomplished in my life to date and my confidence grew. I saw His hand I my marriage, my family, my business, my ministry, my life- why was I so fearful. Has He not seen me through thick and thin and still kept me. I have been provided for, protected and preserved, favoured beyond measure- I had absolutely no reason to be afraid or unsure.
All this took a while but I finally got the place where my heart found rest in the knowledge that my ‘land’ is possible and that I will take it in time, one bit at a time till I possess it all. So like Joshua and Caleb, I know that I am ‘well able’ to overtake and possess it. I have all it takes simply because God is with me. So I hold up my head and walk straight with courage and boldness to take that which God ha in His goodness given me. It is a new place, a new horizon, a land flowing with milk and honey indeed.
It was a moment of transition and I actually made the transition. Some people will call it an Aha moment. I choose to call it my faith moment, the moment my mind could come to terms with the awesomeness and possibility of what lies ahead for me. I am indeed stepping into new horizons. Join me as we experience new heights of God’s goodness in our lives. Hallelujah. Ck