And they returned from spying out the land after forty days. 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. 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.” 30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” Numbers 13:25-31
The Lord gave the Israelites a commission to go in and possess the land of Canaan. The people needed a separate place in which to thrive as a God-centered nation. And He chose an exceptionally good country for their development.
So at the Lord’s direction, Moses sent 12 men to spy out the land. What a surprise when ten of them returned with frightening negative stories. All that these spies could see were the obstacles to taking ownership.
However, Caleb was certain that they’d “surely overcome” (Numbers 13:30), because he was focused on God’s promises rather than the obvious difficulties. He based his confidence on God’s words to Abraham: “To your descendants I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7).
The people didn’t share Caleb’s faith—tales of giants and fortified cities scared them. Ordinarily, those would have been obstacles worth fearing. But the Israelites served a God who had proven that He could overcome anything: He’d parted the Red Sea to facilitate their escape from Pharaoh. And He fed them for two years in the desert.
Focusing on obstacles distorts our vision. Problems seem to loom so large that we can’t see to take the next step in faith. In reality, if God has called us to do something, the only hindrance is between our temples! He has already planned a way around, over, or through any barriers that might lie on the path to fulfilling His purpose. And when we, like the Israelites, give in to fear and refuse to move forward, we miss out on the great reward found in doing God’s will. Let us be more like Caleb - ready to step out and possess that which God has promised!
Thank You, Lord, that You have overcome every obstacle that I may face. Show me the way to move forward, showing others the mighty power of an Almighty God! Help me be like Caleb, ready to reach for and possess the prize that You have for me! In Jesus' name I pray~Amen