Tag Archives: Numbers 14

Wouldn’t It Be Better

One of my favorite proverb is Proverbs 16:9: “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” (NIV). We make our plans. God determines our steps. Often, we think we know better. We have these ideas or desires, and of course, it’s the greatest thing ever. We have to do it. We get nudges from the Spirit that there’s another way. We close our ears. We say, “Wouldn’t it be better.” We second guess the God Most High.

God was leading His people. The people did not always want to follow. They asked, “Why is the LORD taking us to this country,” because they couldn’t see the faithfulness of the Lord, or the goodness of the plan. We only see small glimpses or get a promise to go on. We cry out, “Wouldn’t it be better for us” to return to our past situation. We know the past. We are familiar with how it works. We think it might be better.

God calls us to better. Not our “better,” but His better. It might take us through some horrid wilderness. We might need to learn from our stubbornness. We may have to remove the log in our eye. Perhaps, He wants to show us a few things. But the best is coming. Not the better—not what we think will be good. We cannot even imagine what He has for us (see 1 Corinthians 2:9). The next time you consider a wouldn’t it be better scenario, consider with Who you are talking about “better.” Do you not think He knows about better?

“Why is the LORD taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” – Numbers 14:3 [NLT]

Now We Are Ready

After the scouts returned and ten men gave a bad report, the Israelites were not eager to press forward. Actually, they were considering the idea of selecting another leader to lead them back to Egypt. Yes, the people wanted to go back to their slavery in Egypt instead of the Promised Land. Talk about trust issues.

Joshua and Caleb, the two spies who were confident in the promises of God, tore their robes and fell to the ground. They spoke to the congregation only to have the people desire to stone them. Then God spoke. Moses pleaded with the Lord on the people’s behalf. God promised that none of the people would enter the Promised Land, but Joshua and Caleb. The people were to turn around and head back by way of the Red Sea. Punishment was poured out. Moses shared with the people what the Lord said. The people mourned. The next morning, they decided they were ready to enter the Promised Land, so rather than turn around as the Lord commanded, they pressed forward into disobedience and were defeated.

God’s timing is the timing that matters. He has everything beautifully orchestrated. There are moments He commands us to do something, and time passes before we obey. It is not supposed to be like that—when we hear the command of God, we should respond accordingly. Dragging feet is not permitted. But this was worse than dragging feet. When God commanded the people to turn around, they willfully disobeyed. When we are ready, we should be ready for whatever God has placed before us. The option of what we receive and when we receive it is always is in the hands of God. We shouldn’t answer, “Now we are ready” after His commands. Instead, our response should always be, “We are ready now” the moment of His command.

“Then they got up early the next morning and went to the top of the range of hills. ‘Let’s go,’ they said. ‘We realize that we have sinned, but now we are ready to enter the land the LORD has promised us.’” – Numbers 14:40 [NLT]

A Different Attitude

After the twelve spies surveyed the land, only two came back with a good report. Ten men came back to share their fear of the strong people of the land. When the people were speaking negatively about the situation, Caleb boldly stepped forward. The Bible says that he “silenced the people before Moses.” He exclaimed, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Numbers 13:30 NIV).

Caleb trusted the One behind the promise. He trusted God. Ten of the spies couldn’t look past the problems they saw with the land. They couldn’t imagine that God would see them through, that God would deliver on His promise. They were stopped in their tracks, stopped by mere men.

God says that Caleb had “a different attitude than the others have.” He also was called loyal. His loyalty didn’t change with circumstances. He was loyal. Some of us have an attitude problem today. We have the attitude of the ten, instead of the attitude of Caleb; we have an attitude of fear and distrust, rather than an attitude of trust and confidence. The Bible speaks of this hope—this confidence—we should have as believers. We should be confidence for judgment day (1 John 4:17-18). We should have confidence for prayer (1 John 5:14). We should be confident His plan is perfect and He desires what is good for His children (Romans 8:28). We should be confident that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). May the Lord be your confidence (see Proverbs 3:26, Job 4:6).

“But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land.” – Numbers 14:24 [NLT]

“And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.” – 2 Corinthians 1:10 [NLT]

Like Grasshoppers

The Lord tells Moses to gather some men together to scout the Promised Land, the land He was giving them. When He makes the request, He even restates that He is giving this land to the Israelites. They were to simply walk through the land and bring back their report with some fruit. When the men came back, ten of the twelve men were not eager to enter the land.

Though God already stated numerous times that He was giving the land to them, the men didn’t want to pursue the promise. Caleb and Joshua were the only ones who spoke of what this great land boasted. It was described as a land that was flowing with milk and honey. The fruit was so large, two men had to carry it back. Yet instead of focusing on the promise of God, ten of the men focused on the people who were strong, much stronger than the Israelites. They even spoke of giants. Beside these giants they “felt like grasshoppers.”

How often do you feel like a grasshopper when God calls you forward? How many times do you look at the giants, and turn in the other direction? How many times do you allow the lies of this world to keep you from embracing the promises of God? Whatever He promises, He will be deliver. We can choose to be grasshoppers, or we can choose to rise up and be the sons and daughters of God. He has called YOU forward. Rise up my friend.

“We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” – Numbers 13:33 [NLT]

They Went Anyway

If God tells you that something is not going to work, that it is out of His will, there is no way it is going to work in your favor. You cannot force God to change His mind. He doesn’t change His mind. He has a perfect plan for a reason. We don’t have a better plan. We don’t have a plan even close to perfect. I thank God again and again for not taking my plans and making them true. I have realized long ago my plans are disastrous and His ways are perfect and beautiful and amazing.

The people were told that they were not going to enter the Promised Land. They did not believe and trust God so they would stay back. After word was given, they decided they were going to go anyway. The Bible says they were reckless and arrogant and they were. They figured that if they went, God would be with them. He would allow them to be victorious though He said otherwise. Foolishly they thought that by their actions they would force His hand. Reminds me of when the devil tried to get Jesus to jump off the high area so the angels would catch Him. Guess what—it’s not a good idea to test God. His Word stands.

The people got a thrashing. They did not get to enter the area. God’s Word stood. His Word still stands today. If God is telling you not to take a particular path, not to make a certain decision, understand that you won’t force His hand. His will shall be done. Today. Tomorrow. Always.

“But they went anyway; recklessly and arrogantly they climbed to the high hill country. But the Chest of the Covenant and Moses didn’t budge from the camp. The Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in the hill country came out of the hills and attacked and beat them, a rout all the way down to Hormah.”

– Numbers 14:44-45 [MSG]

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A Different Attitude

When the spies were sent into the Promised Land, the report that came back was actually two different reports. Ten of the spies admitted the land was good, but focused their attention on the giants that were in the land. They aimed to persuade the Israelites not to enter the land. Joshua and Caleb went against the majority. In Numbers 13:30, the Bible says that “Caleb tried to quiet the people.” He wanted to go “at once” and exclaimed, “We can certainly conquer it!” The account goes on to mention that Caleb had “a different attitude.”

There are many times when we should check our attitude and motives for things. It is good to ask why we are doing things. It is good to see if we are being positive or negative, believing or doubting, loyal or unfaithful. Caleb “remained loyal.” He saw giants. He saw the exact same things as everyone else. But there was a difference. He didn’t look at the giants and say, “Wow, look at those big giants. I think we should turn around.” He looked at the giants and said, “My God is big enough to do as He promised. He is faithful. We can certainly conquer this land. Let us go at once.” There is a big difference between these two statements—and it is all about the attitude—all about the focus.

Today is a good day to examine your attitude. Is your attitude different from the majority? Are you trusting God? Are you focused on giants? We each can look at the giants and see God’s great power or look at the giants and drown ourselves in fear and doubt and disbelief. Caleb had a different attitude. I pray you remain just as loyal.

“But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land.” – Numbers 14:24 [NLT]

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