After Miriam was cured of leprosy, the Israelites journeyed to a city called Kadesh in the wilderness and set up camp. God spoke to Moses there. “The wonderful land that I promised you is just beyond the hills. I want you to send out 12 men to scout out the land.”
So Moses chose one man from each of the tribes. He gave them a checklist of information that he wanted them to bring back. “Find out what kind of people live there and how many. What kind of land is it? Good for planting? A lot of trees? What do their towns look like? Do they have walls? Oh and, if you can, bring back a sample of their fruit.” Moses instructed them.
All the people came out to hear the scouting report. The 12 men stood before Moses, Aaron and all the people. They held up the huge cluster of grapes and the people were amazed!
“The land really is a magnificent land!” One of the 12 men spoke up. “There are clusters of grapes and fruit like this everywhere! BUT,"...... Everyone got quiet and one of the other 12 men finished his thought. "BUT.... Some of the men that live there are giants! Their cities have huge walls with guards on them!”
Caleb was one of the twelve scouts and he could see that the Israelites were getting discouraged. “Let’s go at once and take the land.” He shouted. “We can certainly conquer it!” Joshua, one of the other scouts and Moses’ right hand man stood with Caleb. “Yes we can!”
But the other 10 scouts agreed that the land was magnificent, but the people and the cities were too strong to conquer. They continually spread the discouraging report among the Israelites. "The land will
swallow up anyone who attempts to enter. We felt like grasshoppers next to those giants and I’m sure that’s what we looked like to them!”
The Israelites all went back to their tents. Many of them cried all night. In the morning they confronted Moses. “We came all this way to get slaughtered by a bunch of giants?! We wish we would have stayed in Egypt and died there! We are tuning back.” The people decided to choose a leader and head back to Egypt.
Joshua and Caleb tried to change the people’s minds. “The land is a wonderful land! The Lord will bring us safely into this magnificent place! Don’t rebel against God and don’t be afraid of the people. God is on our side and He promised the land to us!”
But the whole community shouted insults at Caleb and Joshua. They picked up stones and were ready to kill the two men. Then God appeared to all the Israelites. “ How many chances can I give you? How many signs and miracles do you need? Time after time you doubt me and turn your back on me! I am so angry right now that I should just destroy you all and start over with Moses, Caleb and Joshua!”
Moses pleaded with God. “Please Lord, spare these people. The Egyptians know the power you displayed when rescuing the Israelites from slavery. They know how you led the people with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. If you destroy all the people now, the Egyptians will think to themselves, ‘Well their God got them all the way to the hill country, but he couldn’t bring them into the promised land'.”
God said, “I will spare all the people except the 10 scouts that stirred up the people against me. However, now only your children will be the ones to enter the promised land along with the 2 scouts, Joshua and Caleb. Tomorrow you must head back to the Red Sea.”
Moses prayed for the people and God answered. Is there anyone that you need to pray for?
Sometimes we focus on our situation instead of on our powerful God. It is easy to do if our situation or problem is right in front of us. The closer we are to something the bigger it looks. That’s why we need to constantly keep close to God. "When we draw near to Him, He draws near to us.” (James 4:8)
Here is a little experiment. Take a penny and a quarter. Which one is bigger? Right. The quarter :)
Hold the quarter in on hand and the penny in the other. Close one eye and slowly move the penny closer and the quarter farther away from your face. The penny looks larger than the quarter! Now, keeping the coins at the same distance, move the quarter behind the penny. Now you can’t even see the quarter even tho it is bigger than the penny! Cool!
That’s how it is when we focus on our problems. They get bigger, God gets smaller. And pretty soon God disappears and we feel like we are left to take care of it on our own. God says that He will never leave us or turn His back on us in times of trouble. (Hebrews 13:5)
Why did God get so mad? He proved time and again that the Israelites could trust Him, and still they didn’t. God loved them and He wanted the best for them. God loves you and He wants the best for you too. He wants us to trust Him and not ourselves. He knows what is better for us than we do! Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in God with all your heart and not on your own ideas, and He will point you in the right direction. ( Mr. BibleHead paraphrase)
So how do we focus on God, get close to God and trust Him more? By reading His book, the bible, and praying.