Devotional: ‘Testing Our Faith’

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Numbers 13:21 So they went up and spied out the land from the Wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, near the entrance of Hamath. 22 And they went up through the South and came to Hebron; Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were there. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. They also brought some of the pomegranates and figs. The place was called the Valley of Eshcol, (cluster) because of the cluster which the men of Israel cut down there. 25 And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.

The spies were gone for 40 days and traveled nearly 500 miles. During that time, they saw many amazing things. First, they visited a city called Hebron. The book of Genesis tells us that Hebron was one of the homes of Abraham. After  Lot chose the well-watered plains of Sodom, Abraham moved to Hebron. The name Hebron means “fellowship.”  Abraham chose fellowship with God over the riches of this world. When his wife Sarah died, he purchased a cave there which he used as a place to bury her. Later, that cave would become his burial place as well, along with his son Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and his grandson Jacob and his wife Leah. Hebron was a very special and sacred place for the children of Israel. Afterward, the 12 spies went to the Valley of Eshcol. There they found an abundance of luscious fruit. Scripture says that they brought back with them a cluster of grapes that was so large it took two men with a pole to carry it. But they not only saw many opportunities, they all saw so many obstacles.

Numbers 13:26  Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.

The spies could not deny the fruitfulness of the land. “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.” The land did not literally flow with milk and honey. That was only figurative speech to help illustrate its fruitfulness. But that is not all the spies said. 

Numbers 13:28 “Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” 

The spies reported both the opportunities and the obstacles. The land provided tremendous opportunities for those who would live there. But, before they could enjoy all the opportunities, they would first have to overcome the obstacles. “The people living there are very strong. Their cities are fortified and very large. And besides all of this, there are giants living there.” They were not literally giants as we might think of giants but very tall people and especially in comparison to the people of Israel. God was not testing their abilities, He was testing their faith. Did they believe that God would help them overcome their obstacles so that they might enjoy their opportunities?

Are there any giants in your life? Are there any obstacles standing between you and your opportunities? If so, I encourage you to trust God.

Join me again tomorrow as we continue our study. God bless you brethren.

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