Some historical background will be necessary for this one. In Numbers 13, Moses had sent twelve spies into Canaan to spy out the land. Of the twelve, ten came back with a good report of the bounty of the land, but fearful of the current inhabitants: “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:33) Only two, Joshua and Caleb saw it differently – “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.” (Numbers 13:30)
As a result, there is rebellion in the camp, with most siding with the fearful ten. In fact, things get so bad for Joshua and Caleb that the camp considers stoning them. In response, God threatens to wipe them (the camp) out with a plague but Moses intercedes on their behalf, and God relents, but then says this:
Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. (Numbers 14:21-24)
The phrase which struck me was this” Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly…”
All the spies saw the same thing. But they did not perceive the same thing. Caleb and Joshua’s reckoning of the situation was + God. For the others, it was – God, and they knew they could not, in their own strength, conquer the enemy.
My prayer for myself today is that I might have this “different spirit” and follow God wholeheartedly, that I might take possession of the “land” which he has for me. In the words of D.L Moody:
“The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him. I will try my utmost to be that man.”
Amen and Amen.
Glyn Norman is Lead Pastor of Central Christian Church in San Jose, and Author of:
If God Had a Fridge, Your Picture Would Be On It,
What Martial Arts Taught Me About the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and
Your First Year in Ministry: What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary,
all available on Amazon and Kindle.
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