The people of Israel were camped in the wilderness of Paran. And God told Moses to send out 12 leaders, one from each tribe, to check out the land of Canaan. They returned 40 days later bearing monster grapes on a pole between two men and lugging figs and pomegranates.
Yes, the land is awesome. It flows with milk and honey, and just look at this fruit!
It’s scary out there! The cities are big and fortified, and there are giants! Lots of them! We’re like grasshoppers compared to them. The land is a land that eats up its inhabitants. We can’t fight them or take possession of the land. They’re too strong for us!
And the people of Israel freaked out. We should have died in Egypt or out here in the wilderness! Why did God bring us out here to be stabbed to death and have our families become plunder? This is just nuts! Let’s get us a leader and head back to Egypt!
Back away from the Promised Land! Sound the retreat! Run for your lives!
But then Joshua and Caleb stepped in and told them to calm down. This land is great! If the Lord is pleased with us, He’ll bring us in! We’ll have those giants for breakfast! Their protection HAS BEEN removed. The Lord is with us. Do not fear! We can DO it!
And, of course, God was ticked off with the people because they had seen all the good stuff He’d done and still didn’t trust Him. He wanted to take them out then and there. But Moses intervened, and God decided the grumblers could just stay in the wilderness and die–on the fringes of the Promised Land–and that He would bring their children in to possess it.
Except, of course, for Joshua and Caleb because they believed and took courage.
Read about it in Numbers 13 and 14.
Fear, whether it’s real or imagined, is a scary thing. Watch this powerful Turkish video.
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes before you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 – NASB)