The people of Israel come to the border line of the Promised Land. 12 “spies” are selected and sent in. They come out and give a report of what they observed.
Just like the Israelites, God gives us lines in our lives. Taking your first step as an infant. Speaking your first word. Your first day of school. Graduation. Wedding. New job. Birth of a child. The journey of our life is filled with not only the day-to-day but also with stages that we cross between. If we walk with God and trust in Him, He guides us through the stages, going before us to pave the path. There will be challenges, trials and tests to teach and help us grow stronger, but it is a forward journey. Some we pass through on our own. Some with family, class or groups. But crossing each line into the next stage is also a choice.
The Israelites faced a breakthrough moment. One they had been looking forward to for 431 years. God, through Moses and Aaron has been preparing them and brings them right up to the line to cross, to breakthrough, and they choose to put on the brakes. The look in the rear view mirror. They reject what God has prepared and, in so doing, they reject God. Their insistence on clinging to a fear and slavery mindset locks them out of being able to breakthrough to what they can become. It is not God that keeps them out of the Promised Land, it is themselves.
What the heck were they expecting? It is the Promised Land, capital P, big deal, promise from God Land. It is going to be amazing. Nothing but the best for God’s chosen people. Fruit, fully grown trees, fertile land. There were walled and fortified cities. There were giants.
Of course there are going to be fortified cities. Did they think God wanted them to live exposed in tents the rest of their lives? He even gave rules about the jubilee years and how they applied to “walled cities”, of course there are going to be walled cities.
And, since the garden of Eden, crops and plants and livestock don’t just take care of themselves. If you’ve got clusters of grapes so big that it takes 2 people just to carry a single cluster, you aren’t going to have wimpy little scrawny care-takers preparing the land and the harvest. Of course there are going to be giants. Beside that, in a time when the powerful took what they wanted, wouldn’t giants want the best. Frankly, if the giants were living somewhere else, then that place would have been a better place than the promised land.
Both of these things go hand in hand. When our focus is in the rear view mirror, when we refuse to let go of who we were in the past, then we are unable to look forward, we stop thinking and start reacting, we become an emotional uncoupled train wreck instead of a powerful train car coupled to God’s locomotive. With fear instead of God as our motivation, we uncouple ourselves from the locomotive and just become loco.
“Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”
God said, good to understand their enemies, motivating to people to hear that the land possessed all that God promised
Explore and report on the people, land, towns soil and trees and fruit
God has given the goal to me already. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.
The land was fruitful and populated. The cities were old and established. Everything was built and in place for the Israelites to take possession of a great land.
They were the Nephilim (Angels had mated with human women) – they were defeated by Caleb who was given their land