In the book of Numbers we read of Moses sending twelve spies into the land of Canaan. When the spies return they report seeing giant men there called the Anakim whom they fear will crush the Israelites like grasshoppers (Numbers 13). Their fear causes skepticism and leads to their recommendation to not attempt to take the land at that time. This negative report caused the people to despair and to reply, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” (Numbers 14:2-3).
We must remember that this is the land of promise. This is the land that God had sworn to Abraham would belong to his descendants (Genesis 15). We must also remember that this is the God who delivered these same Israelites from their bondage to the Egyptians by virtue of His powerful display of supremacy over pharaoh and the false gods of Egypt through the ten plagues, culminating in the plague of the firstborn. Israel had seen the Lord God at work on their behalf, so why were they so fearful of the Anakim? Why were they so scared of the Canaanites when the LORD was on their side?
How many times in our discipleship journeys do we come to the point of significant challenges for the sake of Christ and His kingdom and we shrink back in fear? Too often we do a risk analysis based on the human odds of victory, we find that we are overmatched, we despair, and then we quit. Why is it that we have so quickly forgotten that the same Christ who is calling us to witness to our neighbor also died on the cross to redeem us from our sins. The same Jesus who is calling us to discipline ourselves financially so that we can give even more sacrificially to the church and to the needy is also the one who rose victorious from the grave. The same Son of God who is leading you to love and cherish the spouse who will not love you back in the same way is also the one who has ascended to heaven. The same King of kings who is guiding you to pursue a life of service to Him on the mission field is also the one who will return in glory to make all things new.
On the day that the ten spies spoke against conquest two others spoke in favor of it, not because of the might and strength of Israel’s army, but because of the might and power of Israel’s God. Caleb and Joshua said, “If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them,” (Numbers 14:8-9).When we come to those moments or even seasons of risk in our lives for Christ we must remember that the Lord delights in his people. Those of us whom He has saved by grace have an eternal assurance that enables us to face temporal, earthly challenges with great hope; not in ourselves, but in the One who has redeemed us from our sin. For “nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Not tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword… No in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us… And neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 8:35-39).
He delights in us, Christians! So know that He is bringing you to His eternal promised land and that you have nothing to fear. There is nothing that can stand against you for you are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus who loves you.