The Promised Land
As we look at our country today, we cannot help but observe a vast array of issues that will spark our attention. How we respond to these events will define our spiritual as well as our social identity. Our eyes and ears are the instruments by which we gather information, whether it is negative or positive. Consequently our responses identify us as being either a pessimist or an optimist. How we look at things will reveal if we are reactionaries or opportunists. Do we see challenges as a threat to our comfort zone, or do we see these events as opportunities to showcase our Faith?
As the Children of Israel approached the land of Canaan, God told Moses to choose one person from each of the Tribes to search out the land. It was the land that God designated for them to inherit. Instead of Moses having them observe the blessing of the land, he told them to see if there were any hindrances to possessing the land. Were the people “strong or weak?” Was the land “good or bad?” Was the land “fat or lean?” God was giving them a land of abundance, but instead of focusing on the positives they looked for the negatives. Instead of seeing the blessings they saw obstacles. God offers Believers the blessings of the Kingdom, but we seem more interested in the challenges that may confront us.
After forty days of scouring the land, the twelve returned and reported their findings. The land was an “oasis” of abundance, but they also saw “walled cities” and inhabitants of the land who were strong and powerful. They identified five groups or nations of which any one of them could destroy the Children of Israel. One of the group (Caleb) quickly rose to his feet and proclaimed that they should “go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” He was immediately overruled by ten of the other “spies.” They proclaimed, “We are not able to go against the people… ” The key to their report was how they viewed themselves. They stated that “we were in our own sight as grasshoppers.” Instead of seeing themselves as victors, they saw themselves as insignificant beings that “hopped” around from one negative to another. When God has given us so much, why do we find ways to dismiss the opportunities by centering on the negatives in life?
Upon hearing their report, the people began to “murmur” against Moses and Aaron. It got so bad that they were willing to elect new leaders and return to Egypt. One of the spies, Joshua, rose up and proclaimed that “… the Lord is with us; fear them not.” The people were so enraged against Caleb and Joshua that they took up stones to kill them. (Number 13:1-33; 14:1-10)
Why are we so engaged in seeing the challenges of life, rather than the blessings that God has afforded us? Jesus shared with His followers that He came that they might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Instead of experiencing the “milk and honey,” many Christians stay focused on the negatives in life. Our country may be filled with Hittites, Jebusites, Amalekites, Canaanites, and other “ites,” but because of the God who opened the door to an abundant life, we are called to possess what He has provided. (Luke 12:32) Believers are not grasshoppers. We must not be limited by the negatives in life! (Numbers 13:33b) Let us walk through the pages of God’s Word, seeing the provisions He has made for us!