Lessons From The 12 Spies Part 2
In Part 1 of this series we learned 2 of the valuable lessons from the 12 spies. God will always do what He says or promises. Because God is perfectly faithful, His promises are actually guarantees. When God says that He will do something, it is already done.
Another of the lessons from the 12 spies is that we need to have faith in God in order to follow Him. When God tells us to do something that appears too difficult for us, we need to see that God is really saying that He will do it through us. If we respond in faith and step out in faith to do whatever He says.
To this point in the story of the 12 spies God had promised long before that He would give Israel the Promised Land. God told Moses to send 12 spies into the land. The 12 spies were the leaders of each of the 12 tribes of Israel. They were in the land for 40 days, and then they returned and gave their reports to Moses and the people. Only Caleb and Joshua believed God would fulfill His promise and said they should go and take the land.
The People’s Reaction And Lack of Faith In God
After the spies gave their report the people had to decide if they would believe God or believe the 10 spies’ bad report. They chose to believe the 10 spies. As a result they became very afraid and this caused them to disobey God. It also caused them to grumble against Moses and Aaron, and they wanted to get new leaders who saw things their way. They again were disobedient to God in wanting to replace the leaders God Himself set in place.
Numbers 14:1-4 “Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.”
Lessons From the 12 Spies – Lesson # 3
We must respond in obedience when God tells us to do something or when He promises to do or give something. And we need to follow His instructions and do it the way He wants it done, when He gives instructions. A lack of faith will cause us to be afraid, which will in turn cause us to disobey God’s commands &/or instructions.
Lack of Faith & Obedience Is A Sign Of A Hard Heart
Numbers 14:6-9 “Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us — a land which flows with milk and honey. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.”
The 10 spies and the majority of the people did not live by faith. They did not see the situation through eyes of faith. They only saw the difficult challenges and the giants. And they did not try to see things from God’s perspective and in light of God’s great strength & power, and His perfect faithfulness. As a result it cost the people the chance to go and get their promised land. They gave into their fear and lack of faith, and they hardened their hearts. This caused them to disobey God and rebel against Him.
Hebrews 3:7-11 “Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice 8 Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, And saw My works for forty years. 10 Therefore I was angry with this generation. They always go astray in their heart and they did not know My ways. 11 As I swore in My anger, ‘They certainly shall not enter My rest.
Another Lesson From The 12 Spies
Lessons From The 12 Spies – Lesson # 4
We need to constantly work on having a humble and soft & pliable heart towards God. We need to ask God to help us have this type of heart, and the faith it takes to believe and obediently follow God. Otherwise we will not be able to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and we will miss all that God has for us and wants to do through us.
The Result of The People’s Lack of Faith And Disobedience
The consequences for the Israelite’s lack of faith and disobedience were obvious. The generation of the people that rebelled against God had to wander around in the wilderness for 40 more years. None of them got to see the Promised Land, let alone live in it. Only Caleb and Joshua, who lived by faith and were obedient.
Numbers 14:28-30 “Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you; 29 your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. 30 Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.”
There are consequences when we choose to give in to fear instead of trusting God by faith. We will completely miss what God wants to do in us and through us. We will miss many of His blessings. And we will miss out on the privilege of joining Him in His great kingdom work and mission. We will never see the great power and works of God if we are not humble and obedient, and willing to step out in faith and follow God.
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