Daily Thoughts : March 7th
Num 14:1 That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.
This is a classic case of a verse that you just have to see in its context otherwise it makes no sense and you miss the importance of what is happening! In the previous chapter in Numbers we find the record of the report of the spies who had returned to the camp after having gone and spied out the Promised Land. Two of them, Joshua and Caleb gave a positive report, but the other ten said, We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are. And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. (Num 13:31,32)
Now the weeping that we have recorded in our verse above is because the people chose to believe the ten. God had said that this would be their land but they chose to believe that it was not possible to take it. Their tears, therefore, were tears of unbelief. While we are called to empathize with others (Rom 12:15), that is not to include empathizing with unbelief. These people were denying the possibility of what God said would happen.
The Lord allows us to make no excuses for unbelief. He sees it as sin. It is not a case of feeling sorry for these people; they should have been saying, with Caleb (13:30) we can certainly do it." That is what God is looking for when He speaks His plans and purposes for us. He is looking for a response of faith in the belief that HE can enable us. No room for tears of unbelief! Be a faith person!
This is practically worked out when the Lord places before us any path that appears difficult, whether it is the call to go and speak words of peace and reconciliation to a family member with whom you are at odds, or to run with a vision that the church leaders believe God has given them for your local church. The first step is to reject unbelief. The second step is to ask the Lord for grace that can come in the form of faith or maybe wisdom. He will be there to help us get through, just as He was with the Israelites. Don't follow their example but learn from them.
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