Lent Devotional: Numbers 13:25-30
by Jonathan Haefs
Numbers 13:25-30 (click here to read the entire passage)
At the end of forty days they returned from spying out 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… 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.” (Numbers 13:25, 27-28, 30)
People vs. Promises
That’s the battle taking place in Numbers 13. God had promised to give his people a land for their very own possession, but it was occupied… apparently by very strong, intimidating people.
Is this not a pattern we all experience when it comes to the promises of God? Due to the fact we live in a world occupied by apparently strong, intimidating sin and brokenness… do we not always see obstacles in the way of God’s promises?
It’s people vs. promises all over again. It’s faith vs. unbelief.
Perhaps this is why the fight we engage in throughout our lives is called the “fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). We fight to believe, to trust, to follow God’s promises no matter how strong and intimidating any obstacle in the way may look.
God’s promises are meant to provide us with the power to press on! We receive that power through the channel of faith! When we believe God’s promises and step out upon them, the promised power is there, provided by the Holy Spirit! However, when we do not believe the promises of God we do what Scripture calls “quenching the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19). It’s like we put a kink in the water hose of faith… we quench the flow of promised power with our unbelief.
This is what the Hebrew people chose to do in Numbers 13-14. As they stood on the precipice of the promised land… they chose not to believe that God would keep his promise to give it to them. They chose to believe that the people of the land were more powerful than the promises of God.
But Caleb (and Joshua) held on to faith. And one day they would return to the border of the promised land alongside a new generation of Hebrews and by faith, they would experience the power of God’s promises as they took the land!
How are you living today? Are you setting before you the promises of God so that they might empower you amidst a world of strong and intimidating people and obstacles that make faith look silly or downright impossible? Are you pressing on by the power God provides by his Spirit through his promises… or are you quenching the Spirit in unbelief?
Today… who will win the battle for your heart?
People or Promises?