There’s a fascinating story from Israel’s history about how different people view the same place differently. Near the end of Israel’s forty years living in the wilderness, God instructs Moses to send community researchers into Canaan. ‘The Promised Land’ was a literal place that God wanted His people to move into.

Talk about this place had been in their imagination from the time they left Egypt. They were no longer slaves, but now free men and women. But it was not enough to simply be free; they had a land of their own to possess. The time finally arrived to explore the place God wanted them to have.

Moses sent representation from all twelve tribes to quietly explore and bring a report. Here’s what he said to the twelve spies.

Numbers 13:
18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)

Moses told them to thoroughly study and evaluate the place that God was taking them into. After forty days, they returned with a report and samples of the fruit that grew in Canaan.

Numbers 13:
27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

Their study of place was revealing. They provided good demographics to understand who was there and the challenges that would face them. It’s interesting to note that given the same data, people arrived at different conclusions.

Numbers 13:
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

While ten spies studied and concluded that it was too dangerous to proceed, Caleb and Joshua believed otherwise. How were the majority able to forget that God had led them here? Wasn’t this the Promised Land they longed for?

Like the ancient spies, we can see the same things, but miss out on what’s really true. Were the obstacles the end of the road or necessary steps in learning how to live in a new way?


Anonymous said…
All to often we jump to conclusions before seeking Gods will in our life..We dont often see the forest because of the tree's. ..Good thing we have brothers and sister's in the Lord to help us see what is right in front of us...Keep up the good work brother...May you be blessed