The story of the Exodus from Egypt is one that has been talked about for centuries. It is a wonderful story about how God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and led them to the Promised Land, where they would be His chosen people, and God would provide and care for them.
Numbers, the fourth book in the Bible, describes the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness, on their way to the promised land. Underlying the book of Numbers is the theme of faith. When the Israelites have faith in God, He provides them with blessings. When the Israelites fail to have faith in God, they miss His blessings. This is no fail on God’s part, for the promise always remains: Be faithful and prosper; be faithless and perish.
Numbers 13 describes the Israelites’ arrival at the Promised Land. Moses sent twelve spies out to scope out the land to see if it was able to be taken. Ten of those spies came back saying, “We went to the land where you sent us. It really is a land flowing with milk and honey. Here’s some of its fruit. But the people who live there are strong, and the cities have walls and are very large….We can’t attack those people! They’re too strong for us!” So they began to spread lies among the Israelites about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored is one that devours those who live there. All the people we saw there are very tall. We saw Nephilim there. (The descendants of Anak are Nephilim.) We felt as small as grasshoppers, and that’s how we must have looked to them.” (v. 27-28, 31-33) However, Caleb told the people to be quiet and listen to Moses. Caleb said, “Let’s go now and take possession of the land. We should be more than able to conquer it.” (v. 30) He and another man named Joshua were the only ones who believed the Israelites could take the land, not because of their own strength, but because they trusted God. They knew that God had performed miracles to deliver them from Egyptian oppression (see Exodus 7), and they saw the Red Sea be parted so they could walk through (see Exodus 14). Why would God, at this moment, stop providing for the people He had led this far?
In Numbers 14:11, The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?”
What challenges are you facing today that you deem to be too big to handle? What fears do you have that seem to be too great to overcome? The same God that delivered the Israelites out of Egypt is guiding your life as well!
You may not trust your own strength, but do you trust His?