Numbers 14: Spies, Lies & Punishments.
The 12 spies that were sent into the land of milk and honey become fearful of the Canaanite people. The investigators bring back an unfavorable report about the land in which God had promised them. All of the people of Israel bickered that night, voicing complaints against Moses and Aaron. The people also complained that dying in Egypt, or dying out in the wilderness they had been living in, would be an easier fate than dying at the hands of the sword of someone from the “promised land”. The people argued that they’d actually be safer returning to Egypt, and decided to appoint a new leader.
God responds with a punishment of a forty-year stay in the wilderness, plenty of time for the present generation to die out completely. God states that each of the forty years spent wandering the desert will be punishment for each of the forty days the spies had spent searching Canaan and that they are to remember this as they all slowly die off in the desert.
He then kills off the other ten spies with a deadly plague because he felt they were responsible for scaring the people of Israel into rebelling in the first place using slander and lies. God saves Caleb and Joshua for He feels that they remained faithful and justly will be spared the punishment. The old generation will die, and God will start over with a new people. Sin and rebellion produces death; but out of death, God makes a new thing.
“If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us – a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord… the Lord is with us, do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:8,9)
Faith does not deny that there are difficulties on the journey. Rather, it expresses confidence in victory through the power of God in spite of the difficulties. It holds that there is nothing too difficult for God.
When you face obstacles and difficulties on what can be portrayed as God’s path, do you hold him accountable take His name in vein, or do you keep your head down, feet moving and heart full of faith in Him? Two things that always keep me motivated are “through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) and “for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). What keeps you going?