Twelve Spies | Devotion 3: What is Your Excuse?
I am not an extremely confident person. I am insecure about how I talk to people; I feel very strongly about my beliefs, and sometimes I can come off too strong. I care about what others think, and I am very short. All of these things plague my mind when I act. I always look to others for acceptance and validation, and I can see my self as a disappointment to others. All of these are excuses that I use when I do not think that I can do something. It is something that plagues my mind as I try something new or something difficult. I become overwhelmed by my flaws and shortcomings that I do not go forth and try. This negative thinking is something that we all struggle with, but it is not about our flaws, but God’s supremacy.
In Numbers chapter 13, the Children of Israel are about to enter the Promised Land, and God instructs Moses to choose from the twelve tribes one chief from each tribe. Doing as God had commanded, these twelve men were tasked to spy out the land. They could provide precious intelligence about their home and tactical information for the invasion. Forty days later, they returned from their mission and gave their report. They said that the land was filled with milk and honey, that it was all that was promised, but there was a problem, the people were strong, they were giants, and they lived in well-fortified cities. They see that the land was good, that it is what had been promised to them, but yet they advise that it is not a good land because of the trouble that lies ahead. There are giants, there are obstacles, and it is hard.
I love how the transition happens in the Bible, “They reported to Moses: ‘We went into the land where you sent us. Indeed it is flowing with milk and honey, and here is some of its fruit. However, the people living in the land are strong, and the cities are large and fortified. We also saw the descendants of Anak there’” (Numbers 13:27-28 CSB). In a manner of a sentence, the promises of God were real and obtainable, for 400 years they had been enslaved but no longer would they be sojourners in a foreign land, they would have a home, but it was not going to be easy. I think it is comical when people ask the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Whoever said that life was going to be easy? Our life was never supposed to be easy. Our life is in service to God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and the world has rejected both of them. How do you expect your life to be any different? Hardships will fall on us, but the great thing is victory has already been secured. When God told the Children of Israel that they shall have this land, He was telling them that He has already given it to them. Hard work is to expected, but the blessing was given. These things are important for us to remember and for us to see. God expects us to work for the blessing that He has already given us, not for us to be lazy and wait for it to be handed to us. Nor does God want us to come up with excuses to His promises. He told us exactly that which He would do for us, and yet we still shy to Christ’s command of the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations. Our limitations are not limitations on God, but amazing opportunities to see God work.