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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

November 6, 2019

Numbers 13

  1. The book of Numbers (book of wanderings) uses chapters 11-14 to show what caused the people to wander for 40 years instead of walking straight into the promise land. First, they failed to be content with the custom-made manna God had provided. One should never complain about a divinely custom-made solution to your temporary situation. They also complained about the humble leadership that God had provided. Beloved there are very arrogant and selfish leaders who deserve harsh treatment, but be careful about harshly treating humble leadership that doesn’t seek anything but the best for you. The people were beginning to allow too many complaints and too many jealousies sink their ship. They are developing a complaining spirit against God and God’s anointed leader. This really is about a lack of faith. The people don’t trust God because things aren’t the way they would want them. They have only traveled for a short time, but they are losing patience.

  2. Verses 1-16. From Numbers 13:1-3 we get the impression that it was the Lord’s command to send the twelve spies into the land to check it out--actually it was the Lord’s concession to a timid, hesitant people (note Deuteronomy 1:20-22). When they reached the border of Canaan Moses exhorted the people to take possession of the land that the Lord promised them. But the people hesitated; they wanted to have more knowledge and assurance. “Then I said to you, You have reached the hill country of the Amorites that Jehovah our God is giving us. (21) See, Jehovah your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as Jehovah, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (22) Then all of you came to me and said, Let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns to which we will come.”(Deuteronomy 1:20-22). God allows for a group of 12 spies to go out to check out the land. Moses sends 12 from each tribe to check out the land.

  3. Verses 17-20. Moses tells the men to take a good inventory of the quality of the towns, walls, soil, trees, and fruit in the land. This was meant to get the men excited about the possibilities of what God was about to do. They were supposed to see how good things were and develop a desire to move forward with God’s plan. God doesn’t give us plans of the future to intimidate us, but to inspire us.

  4. Verses 21-25. The men went out and spied the land for 40 days. They saw the people and how truly good the land and towns were. They even brought back a sample of the grapes that were growing in the land. God will show you better to excite you of the possibilities that can happen if you step out on faith. God doesn’t show you the possibilities so that you cower in fear. Verses 25-26 let us know that it took them 40 days to scout out the entire land that God said was theirs and they came back and reported what they saw. Now did you see that it took the spies 40 days to see the blessing, but we know that it took the people 40 years to get to the blessing? Man, I am not trying to turn a 40-day thing into a 40-year thing. I am not trying to miss a blessing by 39 years and 320 days.

  5. Verses 26-29. The 12 men come back after 40 days to tell the people what they saw. Now remember God let them see it so that they could get excited about what God was about to do. God shows you a glimpse of the possibilities so you can praise him in advance. God shows you a glimpse of his blessings so that you can bless God with praise ahead of time on credit. God wanted them to see what he was going to do supernaturally for them. God had supernaturally delivered them, supernaturally provided for them, supernaturally guided them, and from Mount Sinai supernaturally spoke to them. For two years, they had only seen the supernatural. The men come back and instead of talking about the possibilities they saw and the great things they saw, they began to talk about how it wasn’t going to work. Instead of a praise and words of faith, they had words of fear. One of the first ways to miss a blessing is to begin to speak with fear and not with faith. See their words were just the feelings they had in their hearts. Their hearts were fearful and their words just mirrored that. They didn’t see the supernatural possibilities; they just saw the natural obstacles. The men saw the people in the land as powerful and the cities fortified. This is interesting since none of the people they named were as powerful as the Egyptians at the time. God had delivered them from something greater and a people greater, but now they are scared of something that is not as powerful. God has done bigger things, and we can’t lose our minds on smaller things. They overstated the problem and understated the promise.

  6. Verses 30-33. They overstate the problem and understate the possibilities. You have to flip that. And that is what Caleb does. Caleb doesn’t even mention in verse 30 the people or the problem he just sees the potential and the possibilities; He says, “surely we can take it.” The ten other spies were doing the mannequin challenge just standing still afraid. What you don’t need in your life is folks always ‘saying what can’t be done. You need some Calebs in your life. But as soon as Caleb spoke, the majority silenced him. And I have come to find out that the people of faith, the Calebs, are oftentimes the minority, but they actually stand with God and that is always a majority. The majority tells the crowd. We can’t do it because those “folks are stronger than we are. Yes, they are stronger than you, but they are not stronger than your God. Yes it is above you qualifications, but since when has that stopped God from blessing. They saw giants, but didn’t see God. Stop making giants Gods. Giants are just bigger targets. And last time I checked a bigger target is easier to hit. They added to that and said we looked like grasshoppers in our own eyes. They used their size as the determining factor for being able. You never have enough; that is what God is for. God makes up for what you don’t have.

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