Thursday, May 12, 2011

Numbers: Chapter 13

This is an incredible chapter with far-reaching implications--it is a study unto itself.  Kadesh-Barnea, the setting for this chapter, was an oasis in the desert; it was also the primary residence of the Israelites for their forty years of wandering.  As I contemplated the chapter, a phrase from Oswald Chambers came to mind:  good is the enemy of best.  An oasis is good.  The promised land was best.  Like the Israelites we have a tendency to rest on the good and miss out on the best.

This chapter has many parallel passages including Deuteronomy, Psalms and Hebrews.  Moses tells us that God instructed them to explore the land that He had given them.  The spies found the land to be as incredible as God had promised.  They also found 'giants' in the land.  The temptation--the trial--they succumbed to was focusing on the giants and forgetting the Lord.  Twelve spies--ten lost sight of God.  We must be wary that we are not one of the ten in our own lives.  It is the common route; let us not be common!  Their unbelief in God's promise was very costly!  Again we see our potential impact on others--only faith in God will produce good for ourselves and others.  Everything not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).

We can not enter into the rest God promises if we remove our eyes from Him.  We will be stuck in fear if we look at the barriers.  Even the blessings are not adequate motivation; although the Israelites had been complaining about their lack, fear ruled.  God does not want blessings to be our motivation!  He wants Himself to be the primary aim of our hearts.  And when we fulfill that desire for Him, He fulfills all the desires of our heart.

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