So often we hear the story about the twelve spies surveying the land for the children of Israel and the majority of them had a defeatist attitude. Therefore, they ended up wandering in the wilderness for another 40 years and missed out on God’s awesome promise. All ten of the original doubters, along with most of that generation died and never made it into the Promise Land at that time. Even though it was God’s will for them to leave Egypt and be delivered into the Promise Land, their doubt got in the way of their promise.
Many have read this and will attribute the “blame” completely on God. As a result, God receives a bad reputation of being harsh and ruling with an iron fist. However, God can only take us as far as we are willing to go. He always gives us a choice.
I love the Bible and I love Its stories. I had an elderly dear friend tell me years ago that the Bible never contradicts itself if it is rightly divided.
Upon further study, we can read a different account through Rahab the prostitute. We can see where she conferred with Joshua’s spies years later. In this narrative she states that 40 years ago when they heard about God and all that he was doing for the children of Israel, they were fearful and knew they were already as good as defeated. Same story but two completely different opinions! The sad truth of the matter is the enemies had a higher opinion of what God could do than the children of Israel. The children of Israel saw God operate firsthand and yet they continued to be their own worst enemy.
Joshua 2:10-11: “For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”
Unfortunately, due to fear, it wasn’t until the next generation that the Israelites were finally able to make it into the Promise Land.
There are several highlights to be taken from this account. 1). Be careful whom you listen to and who you put your faith in. Just because it is the “majority” doesn’t make it correct 2) God wants to see you succeed. He has a good plan for you however, you can be your own worst enemy and defeat yourself. 3) Lastly, God is always Good!!! God is a Good God! We can trust our life with Him!
Rhonda L. Smart, [email protected]