Devotional: The Israelites See the Difficulties and Not God
23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there.
25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.
27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.
28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.
29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”
32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.
33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
· 12 Israelites (spies) scouted the land for 40 days.
· Valley of Eshkol: means cluster, where they found and cut some grapes
· The land was productive.
· The inhabitants were powerful.
· The cities were fortified and large.
· Giants were in the land (Sons of Anak who were descendants of the Nephilim.)
· Enemies surrounded the land.
· Caleb knew they could go up and possess the land.
· The others didn’t think they could possess the land.
· The others saw the difficulties. The inhabitants were stronger than them.
· The others not only didn’t think they couldn’t take the promised land, they discouraged the people as well.
· The other spies saw themselves as little in their own eyes and felt the inhabitants will see them as they saw themselves.
· Clearly, the other spies were not considering God in all of these. Or, they didn’t really knew Him. Or, they haven’t really trusted Him to be the God that He truly is.
· Difficulties and hindrances can make us doubt the prospects.
· Have they not gone to war at this point?
· Have they only seen God move in Egypt and at the Red Sea?
· I must never forget that in all things and at all times in my life, it is God moving, leading, and enabling me. When I remember that, I indeed can do all things in the One who strengthens me.· God has promised to go before me, to make a way before me, to make a way where there is none, to fight my enemies wherever they lie on my path. My future is secure. My journey is set. All I need to do is follow and trust, and never, never depend on myself.
· In the most difficult circumstances we are challenged to trust God for Who He is and what He can do. It can be scary as I’ve experienced so in the past. Yet it’s one of the most life-altering, view-altering moments of my life. I treasure the moments God has shown Himself great on my behalf, when HE did unspeakable and unbelievable things that I know only God can do for me. Did I merit those miracles He made to happen? No. Did I deserve such favor? NO, never. But God is God. HE is good. He is love. He is grace. He is kindness
I thank You Lord for how you love me and how you care for me. I’m ashamed to say “I love you.” But I want to love you in a real way that You see it as love. I’m sorry Lord for all my shortcomings, self-centredness, and rebellion, especially the small ways I go against your plans and instructions for my life. Strengthen me by the spirit to live for you.