Numbers 13:25-33 was the passage of Scripture that my wife and I read and meditated on this morning (to get the whole context go back and read Exodus 23:20-33 along with Numbers 13 and 14). But this is what Numbers 13:25-33 says:
At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land. And they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the people of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan.”
But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”
Twelve spies were sent into the land.
Ten returned in fear.
Two returned in faith.
As I pointed out a few weeks ago from his sermon on the purpose of revival delivered in 1959, the late Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said regarding this passage:
The Children of Israel were about to enter the promised land and they had been hearing about all these tribes: the Hittites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites. The spies had been sent forward and they came back and said, “You know, there are giants in that land and when we looked at them we felt that we were as grasshoppers.” And they were trembling, they were afraid of these great powers that they had to meet when they entered the promised land. Here is the answer: when you know that the living God is amongst you, what are the Hittites, who are the Girgashites and the Jebusites? What are the whole lot of them put together? They become as nothing. The fear of men is taken away immediately when we realize that the living God is among us.
The question that all of us have to ask and then answer (whatever our fears are–however huge, seemingly insurmountable and impossible the circumstances may be in our lives or with our churches) is simply this: “Which group do I belong to–the ten or the two?”
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