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. Numbers 13:30-32
After about a year of traveling through the wilderness toward the promised land, the Israelites have arrived on the border. God instructs Moses to select men to spy out Canaan, the promised land. They are to pick a man from each tribe (remember the 12 tribes from the 12 sons of Jacob, aka Israel) to check out the land, the people living there, the food.
After 40 days of exploring, they return with a report. The land is amazing! The food is amazing! But… the city is fortified and the people are big.
Though all twelve spies saw the exact same things, only two of the twelve – Caleb and Joshua – choose faith over fear. They bravely try to convince the people to go for it. But fear wins out, as it often does.
A year of temporary living. A year of manna for sustenance. A year of God faithfully providing and keeping promises. A year of being unsettled nomads. They are finally at their promised destination, a plentiful land with food they have only dreamed about for a year; with space for permanent dwellings to raise their families. They stand at the edge of the promise of God… and they are too afraid to go in.
After all the miracles they have seen and all that God has done for them, they let fear keep them from entering and stepping into all that God has for them. God will ultimately keep His promise, but the consequences for letting unbelief triumph over faith will be devastating.
Questions: How often do you let fear keep you from stepping into something amazing God has prepared for you? Have you ever had to deal with the consequences of not doing something you knew you should do because of fear?