by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
Numbers 14:6-11 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.' Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them." And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel. Then the Lord said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?
26-30 And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, "How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. 28 Say to them, 'As I live, declares the Lord, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upwards, who have grumbled against me, not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.
As we concluded Tisha B'Av last night, let's consider a lesson from this historic day. When the twelve spies returned from spying out the promised land, Joshua and Caleb alone gave a good report, saying the land is full of milk and honey. They believed the promise of God so emphatically that they tore their clothes and implored the children of Israel saying, "the Lord is with us, do not fear them!” Israel's reaction was unbelievably severe. They were ready to STONE the faithful spies!
It is unquestionable that the report of the other 10 spies was terrifying, and that it had spread fear throughout the camp. Would the faith of two witnesses stand against the overwhelming majority? How often has the voice of the majority with all of its "common sense" stood as a consensus against your "crazy" faith? What kinds of attacks and threats have you received for standing on the Lord's word or promise, or simply for believing in His salvation? In these days as the darkness deepens, our light will shine more brightly, but it may also seem that our stand of faith makes less common sense than ever, and will bring severe opposition against us!
Joshua and Caleb stood firm, and it's wonderful to see how even the most vicious threats could not affect their position of trust. And we know how the Lord rewarded them. These two men became the only ones from their generation to enter the promised land.
Test the word that God has given you; be as sure as you can that He has spoken it, just as Joshua and Caleb were concerning the Lord's promise of Canaan. When the opposition arises, and it will; when the threats are severe, and they may be, remember that the majority against you with all its fear and "common sense" will not receive the reward of faith, but will lose its inheritance… while you will please the Lord and receive yours in full.
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