Page 3 - April 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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he caravan stretched for miles as it  making them vulnerable and essentially
              headed toward the border. Parents  helpless should enemies launch attacks
        Tled their children hundreds of miles,  against them. They had no defensive
        driven by promises for a brighter and more  barriers to hide behind. But they had a
        prosperous future to the north of where   Defender who would tell them more than
        they once lived. They had every reason to   once that He would fight for them (Deu
        be hopeful, for they were propelled by an   1:30; 3:22). Should they choose to trust His
        invitation, actually a command to enter.   promises, the walled cities of their enemies
        But they did not enter. Although God had   would collapse before their eyes (Jos 6:20).
        promised the Israelites this land flowing
        with milk and honey, there was a crisis at   Denied Entry
        the border – a crisis of faith.        Unfortunately,  unbelief  won  the
        Security Concerns                    day,  or  lost  it.  Heeding  the  advice  in
          As  they  approached  the  border,  the   the spies’ majority report against the
        Israelites were immediately confronted by   recommendation  of  Joshua  and  Caleb,
        armies with military superiority, defensive   the people falsely concluded, “We are not
        advantages (walled cities) and intimidating   able to go up against the people, for they
        size (giants in the land). God’s people   are stronger than  we  are”  (Num  13:31
        would have to trust Him in order to drive   ESV). It was the culmination of a continual
        out their enemies and claim the territory   unbelieving heart (Heb 3:12) manifest in
        promised. But they allowed fear for their   God’s people that disqualified that entire
        personal security to dishearten them and  generation from entering the Promised
        said, “Let us choose a leader and go back  Land. The Lord’s verdict was “they shall
        to Egypt” (Num 14:4 ESV).            not see the land” (Num 14:23).
        Identification Issues                This Land is Your Land
          In addition to concern for personal   As  God’s  people  today  (1Pe  2:10),  to
        safety, the Israelites faced an identity crisis.  whom have been given “exceeding great
        Although they were God’s chosen people,  and precious promises” (2Pe 1:4), are we
        they instead began to see themselves  not often guilty of the same unbelieving
        as they believed others saw them: “We   heart? God’s promises to us in the Christian
        seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers,   life include forgiveness, answers to prayer,
        and so we seemed to them” (Num 13:33   His abiding presence, His unlimited power,
        ESV). But was this actually true? Did the   supply for our needs, help in temptation
        Canaanites see them as small enemies they   and  many  others.  Indeed,  “the  land  is
        could easily crush? Rahab said otherwise   before us” and the only wall barricading us
        to the Hebrew spies: “I know the LORD   from the enjoyment of these blessings is a
        is handing this land over to you. We are   wall of our making – unbelief. Remember
        absolutely terrified of you, and all who
        live in the land are cringing before you”   who you are, and that you are forever
        (Jos 2:9 NET).                       secure in God’s hand. Don’t allow a
                                             personal border crisis of faith to keep you
        Wall vs. No Wall                     from living the life God intends for His
          The Israelites were dwelling in tents,  people.

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