“We arrived in the land you sent us to see, and it is indeed a magnificent country – a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is some of its fruit as proof. But the people living there are powerful, and their cities and towns are fortified and very large. We also saw the descendants of Anak who are living there!” (Numbers 13:27+28 NLT)
Ten of the twelve scouts filled the people with their fear and spread discouragement among the Israelites. They told the people that their enemies were so large that they felt like grasshoppers in their presence (13:33). Only two, Caleb and Joshua, tried to encourage the people. They reminded the people of God’s love for them and his promise:
“They said to the community of Israel, ‘The land we explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey, and he will give it to us! Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!'” (Numbers 14:7-9)
So, the dip impacted these twelve men in two drastically different ways.
- Ten men were ruined by the dip; they chose to view it through their own eyes and human perspective and, because of this, spawned a spirit of fear that spread throughout the community which had catastrophic results.
- Two men, Joshua and Caleb saw the dip as well, but they saw it through eyes of faith. They saw it with hearts that truly believed God would keep his promise to protect them and give them Canaan. Because of this, they were among the few in that generation that lived to see the day God fulfilled his promise to the Israelites.
When I am faced with my dips, do I focus on the giants or the promise? Do I try to figure things out with my human abilities and human perspective or do I lean into the wisdom of my omniscient Father. How can I, today, be like Caleb and Joshua who boldly encouraged their peers:
Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” (Numbers 13:30)
Challenge: When faced with a dip, pause and ask God “What do you want me see when I look at this?