Saturday, November 03, 2007

Faith in Numbers

Faith sees things that others are unwilling or unable to see. A good example of this is found in Numbers 13-14, where Caleb and Joshua believed God's promises when few others did.

At God's bidding, Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan to investigate the merits of the land. They were to report back about the land's produce, cities, and people. After forty days, they reported that the land was incredibly fruitful but too well fortified for Israel to defeat. Caleb quickly spoke out in faith that God would give them the victory, but the Israelites refused to believe him.

Because of their lack of faith, the ten unbelieving spies died and the unbelieving nation was sentenced to forty years in the wilderness. The parents who disbelieved God's promises would die during that time and never see the wonderful land God had promised them. But Joshua and Caleb were rewarded for their faith. They and their families were spared this punishment and eventually entered the Promised Land.

What was the difference between these two groups? The twelve spies saw the same evidence and the nation heard the good and bad reports. What made the difference was each man's faith in God or not. Those whose faith was firmly rooted in God's ability to do anything believed despite the size of the enemy. Those who did not have faith in God's ability easily succombed to fear and doubt.

Sadly, perspectives have not changed much today. As in Caleb's day, most people do not believe the promises of God. But those who do believe Him, are blessed with confidence and rewarded for their faith. On which side are you today?
But without faith it is impossible to please Him,
for he who comes to God must believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

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