"The men went back to Moses, Aaron, and the entire Israelite community in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh. They brought back a report for them and the whole community, and they showed them the fruit of the land. They reported to Moses: “We went into the land where you sent us. Indeed it is flowing with milk and honey, and here is some of its fruit. However, the people living in the land are strong, and the cities are large and fortified. We also saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites are living in the land of the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the Jordan.”
Then Caleb quieted the people in the presence of Moses and said, “We must go up and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it!”
But the men who had gone up with him responded, “We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are!” So they gave a negative report to the Israelites about the land they had scouted: “The land we passed through to explore is one that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great size. We even saw the Nephilim, there — the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim! To ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and we must have seemed the same to them.” (HCSB)
There were twelve spies sent to scout the land that Israel was to conquer. They went and came back saying the land was flowing milk and honey. It was as God had said it would. But, they said, it had powerful nations even giants and they were no match for them. Their report influenced all the people which started complaining and moaning. A mutiny was started. They thought God had brought them out of Egypt to let them be killed by other nations.
They forgot the most important character in all of this, God. God was with them. The all-powerful, all-mighty God had been with them all along. He had delivered them from Egypt with great power. He had led them throughout their desert journey and provided for them. The Lord would fight for them.
How could they forget this? How could they not believe in Him? Fear paralyzed them. Fear took away their belief in God.
Only Joshua and Caleb believed. These are Joshua's words:
"If the Lord is pleased with us, He will bring us into this land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and give it to us.
Only don’t rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land, for we will devour them. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us. Don’t be afraid of them!” " (Numbers 14:8-9 - HCSB)
He had the right perspective. God was with them, why be afraid?
This happens with us. Fear keeps us from believing the promises of God. I am not talking about this idea of being positive and saying that if we believe anything is possible. No. God had clearly told them what He would do for them. They just had to believe but fear paralyzed them. For this, God punished them. (Read Numbers 14) Disbelieving and disobeying our God is serious. It replaces God and puts ourselves first. It is idolatry. None of the spies who disbelieved God entered the Promise Land, except two, Joshua and Caleb.
As we start this year, let us not allow to fear keep us from believing the promises of God. Let us put all of our trust in Him. The Lord is leading us. Let us follow his guidance without reservation. Let us trust Him. Let us not allow fear to keep us from acting on the promises of God.