The High Cost of Wavering Faith - by C.S.
Israel's Refusal to Enter the Land
19 ¡§Then we set out from Horeb and went through all that great and terrifying wilderness that you saw, on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, as the Lord our God commanded us. And we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20 And I said to you, ¡¥You have come to the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us. 21 See, the Lord your God has set the land before you. Go up, take possession, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has told you. Do not fear or be dismayed.¡¦ 22 Then all of you came near me and said, ¡¥Let us send men before us, that they may explore the land for us and bring us word again of the way by which we must go up and the cities into which we shall come.¡¦ 23 The thing seemed good to me, and I took twelve men from you, one man from each tribe. 24 And they turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and spied it out. 25 And they took in their hands some of the fruit of the land and brought it down to us, and brought us word again and said, ¡¥It is a good land that the Lord our God is giving us.¡¦
26 ¡§Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. 27 And you murmured in your tents and said, ¡¥Because the Lord hated us he has brought us out of the land of Egypt, to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 28 Where are we going up? Our brothers have made our hearts melt, saying, ¡§The people are greater and taller than we. The cities are great and fortified up to heaven. And besides, we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.¡¨¡¦ 29 Then I said to you, ¡¥Do not be in dread or afraid of them. 30 The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31 and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.¡¦ 32 Yet in spite of this word you did not believe the Lord your God, 33 who went before you in the way to seek you out a place to pitch your tents, in fire by night and in the cloud by day, to show you by what way you should go.
The Penalty for Israel's Rebellion
34 ¡§And the Lord heard your words and was angered, and he swore, 35 ¡¥Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land that I swore to give to your fathers, 36 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh. He shall see it, and to him and to his children I will give the land on which he has trodden, because he has wholly followed the Lord!¡¦ 37 Even with me the Lord was angry on your account and said, ¡¥You also shall not go in there. 38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. 39 And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it. 40 But as for you, turn, and journey into the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.¡¦
God has given believers personalities, abilities, and spiritual gifts which will equip them to accomplish His specific plans for their lives. But each one must choose to step out in faith and obedience. At times the Lord challenges us to do something that seems beyond our ability, but if we back off, we¡¦ll miss His awesome blessings.
Let¡¦s learn from the Israelites who made several choices that led to unbelief, resulting in a lifetime of aimless wandering. They . . .
* Listened to the wrong voices. To walk obediently with the Lord, we need to guard ourselves from being swayed by those who don¡¦t understand the greatness of our God. Not only that, but we must also learn to recognize the lies of Satan. He wants us to become ineffective, accomplishing little for the kingdom of God.
* Relied on human perspective. At times trusting God conflicts with human reasoning. But those who choose to trust Him--even when the external evidence points to an impossibility--will find that He is bigger than any obstacle.
* Let feelings overcome faith. Perhaps the biggest hindrances to obedience are fear and inadequacy. An internal focus is a trust killer. The way to overcome our feelings is to rely on the Lord and His promises. He will equip us for whatever He calls us to do.
Every challenging call to obedience is a fork in the road of our lives. To go the way of unbelief will lead to a lifetime of regret and aimless wandering, but to courageously trust God and do what He says will result in the greatest blessing of your life. The choice is yours.