I’m thinking about what a tragedy resulted from Israel’s failure to trust God in Numbers 13. They were literally at the door of the promised land. Read Numbers 14. Remember that, in Numbers 13 and the first part of Numbers 14, Caleb and Joshua were confident enough in the Lord to say, “God wants to give us this land and He is able to do whatever He wants.” 10 other spies, all of whom had witnessed God’s miraculous deliverance from Egypt and through the Red Sea, said “it can’t be done. Let’s pick a new leader and go back to Egypt.” What??!! Read it for yourself.
Their negative report had all the following effects, all recorded in Numbers 14:
1. All the people were upset. (v. 1)
2. All the people lost faith in God and their leadership. (v. 2-4)
3. God was angry – never a good thing (v. 11-12)
4. None of the adults of the generation that was brought out of Egypt, except for Joshua & Caleb, were allowed to see the promised land. That’s right, an entire generation was punished for the faithlessness of 10 men. (v. 20-35)
5. Those 10 faithless spies died immediately (v. 36-38)
6. God’s protective presence was withdrawn from the people – even when they later decided to try to fight the Canaanites (v. 39-45)
The Bible teaches that we all live in (not outside of) God’s story. We can either try to write a new story (which is the essence of sin from the Garden of Eden until now), or we can enter into the story and live as the Author intended us to live (which is the essence of faith).
My prayer is that I will live in God’s story, in which He is the hero and I find my greatest joy and satisfaction.