Then 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. “Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. “The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” Then 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.” But 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.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “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. “There 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.”— Numbers 13:27-33 NKJV
G-d or the Circumstances?
Ten of the twelve men that Moses sent to spy on the land of Canaan were defeated before there was even a battle.
Their report started off with acknowledging that the land is definitely flowing with milk and honey. However, their next sentence started with “Nevertheless” meaning that regardless of the fact that G-d was correct and true in His promise of the land flowing with milk and honey, it didn’t matter because the people there are strong and the cities are fortified and very large, and above all that, the sons of Anak are there. They then continued on in fear with:
“The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.”
This was a report to tell everyone that it doesn’t matter what G-d said, if we go in there, we are dead. The people are strong, the land is fortified and large, the descendants of the giants are there, along with many of our enemies.They looked at the circumstances rather than focusing on the promises that G-d provided them. G-d said that the land was flowing with milk and honey and that He was going to give them the land. That didn’t matter to them. They even seemed to forget the miracles that G-d did for them with Egypt. They seemed to forget that G-d parted the Red Sea for them to walk on dry land to cross and then behind them it swallowed up the Egyptian soldiers. It is hard to believe that they forgot such an awesome display of G-d’s power. It is possible that they thought in their mind that what they saw in the land of Canaan was a bigger feat than the Red Sea.How often it is when we face trials that we forget, or discredit the power of G-d. It is shameful but true. We look at the circumstances and even when there is proof that G-d’s promises are right in front of us, that we look at all the other things around and say “This is not possible.” We are defeated before anything even began.
It is times like these that we need to remember the Testimony of G-d in our lives. We need to remember G-d’s Word, G-d’s Power in our lives, and G-d’s Provision for all our needs. Caleb remembered these things and that is why He spoke up. He remembered the Word of G-d that led them out of Egypt, along with the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. He remembered the awesome display of G-d’s Power through the miracles that were performed in Egypt, as well as the Red Sea, and all the things G-d did afterwards leading up to this moment. He also remembered G-d’s complete provision for them. His provision for food and protection. This is what enabled Caleb to say, we can take the land.
Unfortunately our human nature is bent on focusing on the negative. The other men immediately spoke up and continued in their bad report and specifically said that they would not be able to take the land because the people are strong, their giant, and they are many. Unfortunately the Israelites listened to the majority rather than the courage of one who chose to focus on the promises of G-d and His Testimony that proclaimed all of what He said to them was possible.
We need to have the faith and courage of Caleb. We need to focus on what G-d says and not what man says. We also need to ignore our own doubts, our own thoughts of defeat when G-d says it is ours. G-d loves to prove His power in ways that man will not be able to take credit. This means that what we face will often be giant, overwhelming, and in man’s eyes, impossible. However, we must remember that with G-d all things are possible. (Genesis 18:14; Numbers 11:23; Job 42:2; Jeremiah 32:27; Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37; Luke 18:27)
Here are a few cases recorded in the Bible where G-d did the impossible for man:
- Abraham, Sarah, and the birth of Isaac (Genesis chapters 15, 17, 18, and 21)
- Moses, the Israelites and the Red Sea (Exodus 14)
- Joshua, the Israelites, and Jericho (Joshua 6)
- David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
- Elijah at Mount Carmel and the Showdown between G-d and the Baals (1 Kings 18)
- Elisha, his servant, and the Army of Angels (2 Kings 6)
- Daniel in the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6)
- Peter Walking On Water (Matthew 14:22-33)
- Jesus on the Cross (The Gospels, John 19:30)
- Peter Released from Jail (Acts 12:1-19)
Also, don’t forget you and I. We have our own cases that we can testify of G-d’s great power and provision throughout our lives.
So what are we setting our eyes upon? Where is our focus?
Are we focusing on our own abilities and perception of things or are we setting our eyes upon G-d’s powerful abilities to overcome what is impossible for us and His perception that spans across the whole expanse of time?
I choose G-d, how about you?