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12 Spies in the Promised Land and Lesson on Faith

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  • Miles McPherson Portrait
    Miles McPherson is an exclusive CP columnist.
    (By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
By Miles McPherson, Special to CP
March 13, 2014|8:12 am

Remember what happened when the Israelites reached the Promised Land?

They had just been rescued out of 400 years of slavery. They had walked through the Red Sea and had watched the Egyptian army drown. They had been miraculously guided through the wilderness, and been promised a land flowing milk and honey.

Miracle after miracle. Blessings after blessings. All they had to do was trust and obey God.

Has God blessed you in the past? How's your level of trust today?

Eleven days after God gave them His Law and His promises, the children of Israel arrived at the border of the Promised Land. Moses and Aaron chose 12 men - the top leaders out of hundreds of thousands - to explore the land and see if God was telling the truth.

After 40 days they returned with evidence: "We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit" (Numbers 13:27).

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Is there evidence in your life of God's promises fulfilled? A job, an education, a home, a relationship, a circle of friends? Maybe you should be divorced - and God healed your marriage. Maybe you should be in jail – and your case was thrown out. Maybe you should be dead - and you were healed.

Or on the other hand, maybe your life is proof that NOT believing God's promises is fruitless. Maybe you're still addicted, or angry, or sad and hopeless. Maybe you've forgotten God's character and God's promises and have accepted second best - which is just what the evil one wants us to do.

There's a heavy-duty lesson for us how the 12 spies reacted to the Promised Land. Remember, these 12 men traveled throughout the same land. They saw the same things. But they came to two very different conclusions.

Joshua and Caleb saw scary things and trusted God, encouraging the Israelites to believe God's promises: "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome" (v. 30).

The other 10 spies saw scary things and doubted God (v. 31-33): "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we." They said they saw giants "and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight ..."

That lack of faith spread like an infection through the entire congregation of Israelites, who promptly forgot all the miracles they had seen and doubted the nature of God - plus had the nerve to try to stone Joshua and Caleb!

Throughout human history, God has communicated His promises to us over and over, but still we demand "proof." It's our fallen nature to doubt, to hold off from trusting until we see everything in place in a way that makes us feel comfortable. Of course, that's not trusting. That's saying, God, You aren't who You say You are.

Today, if you're more like the 10 spies than like Joshua and Caleb, you may feel like a "grasshopper" facing a giant. All you need to do is trust. It's as simple as that.

Enter your promised land - your daily walk with God and wherever He takes you - and watch God bless you!

Miles McPherson, is the Senior Pastor of the Rock Church and Academy in San Diego, California and the founder of Do Something World. Find out more at MilesMcPherson.com

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