Numbers 14:9 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.”
Yesterday, we learned the root-related Hebrew words for “bread” (lechem), “fight” (lehilachem), and “war” (milchama); three words which share the same Hebrew letters, “Lamed”, “Chet”, and “Mem”.
When the twelve spies were sent out by Moses into the land of Canaan, ten came back with a bad report. Joshua and Caleb, however, returned with a good report, saying in essence, “If God is for us — then who can be against us?” The two courageous spies expressed their confidence in a way that was quite cool: “Do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us.” [Numbers 14:9]
Now recall the “literal” connection in Hebrew between BREAD, FIGHT, and WAR. Joshua and Caleb were using the Hebrew language to utterly assure the Israelites of YHVH’s power to give them victory in battle. In modern language, one could say, “Don’t worry guys, we’re going to eat them up in this fight, we’ll make mincemeat out of them!”
Whether they grasped this linguistic encouragement and the spirit behind it or not, the Israelites allowed fear to paralyze them — and ended up sacrificing an entire generation 40 years in the wilderness. Let’s not make the same mistake, but rather, listen to the clues of the faithful. There is almost a lightheartedness in the language and attitude of those who really trust their God. Fear is alien to them. “We’ll eat them for breakfast!” is their battle cry. “Our enemies are our ‘bread’ and the “war” has already been won!”
The nations rage, the rulers take counsel together against YHVH and against His Messiah. YHVH sits in the Heavens and laughs, before He derides, vexes, and finally dashes them to pieces.[Psalm 2] If we’re walking closely with Him there is an authority in our faith because “the righteous are bold as a lion.” [Proverbs 28:1] God has truly provided in every way — our substance, our victory, and our protection. So, do not fear them.
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