July 15 – His story : Man’s rescue – Wandering

Read Numbers 13:1-14:45

HIS story of man’s rescue is not a passive, universal one where the Creator steps in and saves every person independent of their willingness. It requires a faith response of individuals. It always has. It always will.

After their miraculous release from Egypt and after God’s amazing provision as they encountered the obstacles of enemies, hunger, and thirst, the Israelites had witnessed firsthand the gracious, loving care of their Father. Surely, He was One who could be trusted! But, then again, could He?

One delegate spy from each tribe went on a scouting trip to bring back a report about the land, the fruit, the people, and their cities. Sure, the land sounded good. If the grapes were any indication, the crops would be great. But, it was the stories of the size and strength of the people and their fortified cities that scared them…not the “shaking in your shoes but moving ahead in faith anyway” kind of scared. No, this was the “we’re going to die if we go, so let’s pull up tent pegs and retreat” kind of scared. It’s true, there were two voices of faith, but the people listened to the ten voices of disbelief.

As a result of their disbelief, the people would wander for 40 years…and the older ones (with the exception of Joshua and Caleb) would die without ever entering into the very land to which God wanted to deliver them. The thing that seemed most disappointing to God was expressed in 14:11: “How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?” Even though they had witnessed God’s past provision, that track record of His faithfulness seemed meaningless in the moment.

If you have walked with the Lord for any time at all, you have experienced His faithfulness and His provision. Do you find yourself just now in the presence of “giants” that seem undefeatable? Are there “cities” that seem like you could never conquer? Are you doubting God’s ability to rescue you from what lies ahead. Are you tempted to retreat? Allow His track record of faithfulness to count for something and trust Him with what lies ahead.

Steve Kern

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