Numbers 13:27-28,33 – And they told him, and said, "We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. And there we saw giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." (KJV)
Numbers 13:30;14:8-9 – And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, "Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not." (KJV)
One morning last week on the way to work a song came on the radio that recounted this very story from the book of Numbers. The title of it was, appropriately, "Let's Go In". The song really got me thinking about this story, and about the lesson it holds for Christians today.
Moses had sent a group of twelve spies into the Promised Land to survey the territory and the people before the Israelites went in. Of the twelve, ten returned with hearts full of fear and trembling. Caring not what great things the land had to offer, but only focusing on the size of the people that inhabited the land, they made claims that the Israelites would be as "grasshoppers" in the sight of the giants. They completely lost sight of, or forgot about, the fact that this was the land which God had promised to them, and which God had called them to posses. Only two of the twelve returned with the right attitude. Caleb and Joshua were the voices of reason, saying to Moses and the people that surely the Israelites could overcome and that they should go in to take possession of the land.
So what was different about Joshua and Caleb? The answer to that lies in verses 8 and 9. Joshua and Caleb realized that with the Lord on their side, there was no need to fear anyone. They also realized and knew that this was a task that the Lord had called them to complete.
Just like the Lord called the Israelites to take possession of the Promised Land, He still calls us today to many tasks and missions. And just like He always promised to be by the side of the Israelites, He promises to be by our side as we work and live for Him.
So the question is, are we going to be grasshoppers and flee from God's calling, or are we going to be like Joshua and Caleb and willingly and faithfully go in to the task God has called us to do? So often I think we shrink away in fear when God calls us, thinking that maybe the time is not right, or perhaps we are not capable of the task. We forget that God is not looking for our ability, but rather for our avail-ability. All that God asks is that we be obedient to His calling and faithful to His will for our lives, and He will take care of the rest.
Is God calling you to do something for Him? Have you been obedient to His call, or have you become like the ten who were wrought with fear and trembling?
Starting afresh today, let's be like Joshua and Caleb. When God calls, "Let's Go In"!
Prayer: Our Lord and protector, we ask for your guidance and strength as we commit ourselves to be obedient to your will and calling. Help us to have open eyes, ears, and hearts to know what your will is, and a willing spirit to go in. Amen.