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The Lord’s promises should always be enough for us. If He has promised it, we should take Him at His word. The difficulty often comes, however, in that there is almost invariably some obstacle—some temptation to disbelieve—in our way. In Numbers 13-14, we find that God has promised emphatically that He is “giving [Canaan] to the Israelites...” Leaders from the people are called to go and spy out the land.  And from here the disbelief only multiplies.  They see a few positives and a slew of negatives.  Caleb however, only sees the Lord’s promise. He says in far fewer words and much greater faith “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”  The people will not hear it. They will not believe.  They “grumble against Moses and Aaron” and bemoan their current circumstances believing death—yes death—in Egypt to better than their current predicament.  The underlying issue however is not with Moses nor Aaron.  Their problem was unbelief. They did not believe the Lord.  His promise should have been enough.  Joshua and Caleb passionately reasoned with them before they careen off the edge into the abyss, saying, “Their protection is gone [of the peoples in the promised land], but the LORD is with us...”—but it’s too late.  The Lord decrees judgment—40 years of wandering until everyone 20 years and older at that point was dead.  In short the Lord said, “They will meet their end in this desert; here they will die.” (Num. 14:35).

So then what’s the lesson for us. It is simply this: believe the Lord no matter the appearance of things, no matter the circumstances, no matter the giants you face or the enormity of the situation, believe and trust the Lord.  The results of unbelief and the sin that will surely ensue are always more disastrous than we anticipate. Let us heed the warning of Hebrews 3:16–19 (ESV): "For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief."

Posted by Craig Lester with