That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Nu. 14:1-9)
Standing in faith is never the stance of the masses. It seems to go against every bit of human logic. Ten out of 12 of the Israelite spies came back with negative reports based on fear, but only Joshua and Caleb reported in faith. Only these two would be allowed to enter the Promised Land, and the rest would perish. After the other 10 died, the people who had been swayed by their report decided they would go into the land after all, even when Moses warned against it. The result was complete failure, and the Amalekites and Canaanites chased them out of the land. The bottom line was that they wanted to be in control of the situation. First they fell into fear because of the negative reports of the ten, and when faced with the consequences of their disobedience they decided to “fix it” in their own strength. What a typical reaction. It’s so much easier to barge ahead than to wait on God in faith. It’s also not easy to face the consequences of our sin, so we usually try to figure out how to avoid them. The problem is that our actions generally make things even worse.
The better place to be is standing in faith, and trusting God, even when it seems foolish by human standards. Sometimes the blessing is not immediate, and even if the Israelites had been able to enter the land at this time, they would have faced many battles (just as they would in 40 years). Standing in faith does not guarantee an easy path. In fact, the easier path here would have been to remain in Egypt, where at least all their physical needs were met, (even though they lived in bondage). Isn’t that interesting? They wanted to go back to bondage, because walking by faith into the Promised Land was too hard. Waiting on God is not easy. Believing in spite of circumstances is not easy, but that is the path to blessing. Only the 2 spies who believed would enter the land, and their blessing would be delayed by the unbelief of the majority. Still, they never wavered, and when the time finally came to enter the last, they were blessed beyond all others. Waiting and standing in faith is not easy, but it’s always worth it, because he is faithful.
Lord, I ask you to keep me from being swayed by what seems most logical, especially when it contradicts your calling on my life. You have called me to walk by faith, and sometimes it seems absurd, but I trust in you. I know you have a good plan, and I know in your timing it will all be clear. Help me never choose bondage over the adventure of living by faith. I love you so much, and choose to stand in faith. Amen