S (Scripture): Numbers 13:25 They returned from exploring the land after forty days. 26 They went directly to Moses, Aaron, and the entire Israelite community in the Paran desert at Kadesh. They brought back a report to them and to the entire community and showed them the land’s fruit. 27 Then they gave their report: “We entered the land to which you sent us. It’s actually full of milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 There are, however, powerful people who live in the land. The cities have huge fortifications. And we even saw the descendants of the Anakites there. 29 The Amalekites live in the land of the arid southern plain; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the mountains; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the Jordan.”
30 Now Caleb calmed the people before Moses and said, “We must go up and take possession of it, because we are more than able to do it.”
31 But the men who went up with him said, “We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we.” 32 They started a rumor about the land that they had explored, telling the Israelites, “The land that we crossed over to explore is a land that devours its residents. All the people we saw in it are huge men. 33 We saw there the Nephilim (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We saw ourselves as grasshoppers, and that’s how we appeared to them.”
O (Observation): So its time for God’s people to explore the land they thought God was giving to them. They figured someone lived there, so they were covert about this operation of scoping out the land. What the spies found was that the land was occupied and strongly fortified.
If that wasn’t bad enough, all of the spies (except Caleb) made up stories about how LARGE these people were.
The spies were intimidated, but they really resisted the idea that this was the land God set aside for them.
A (Application): Given our current climate of Israel vs. Palestine, I feel the need to be clear about something: modern-day Israel and the biblical Israel are two different things. Sure, the current day Israel descended from the people that helped to settle the area in which the country now resides, but they are separate in this: Israel as God’s people in Scripture is NOT the political entity and government known as Israel today.
One need only to look at the military means by which Biblical Israel took over. This comes later in the Scriptures, but Gideon blasts a trumpet, not a cannon from a tank.
Mercy and care for the orphan and widow were the main concern of God for the people, not where the border was.
I know this is more political, than biblical, but I need to struggle with this, because people are dying over the issue of Israel vs. Palestine. The hope is that the two can find common ground…I just don’t know how soon.
But then, Caleb found hope. He thought that those occupying the land were no match for God. Trust in God. Humility before God.
Perhaps we could be like Caleb…willing to face the challenges before us, and somehow remain humble enough to realize that if harm to others is part of the plan…that God would find another way.
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to follow you, but never to use your name to support harming others. Amen.