I was reading the below text this morning:
19 “Then, just as the Lord our God commanded us, we left Mount Sinai and traveled through the great and terrifying wilderness, as you yourselves remember, and headed toward the hill country of the Amorites. When we arrived at Kadesh-barnea, 20 I said to you, ‘You have now reached the hill country of the Amorites that the Lord our God is giving us. 21 Look! He has placed the land in front of you. Go and occupy it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged!’
22 “But you all came to me and said, ‘First, let’s send out scouts to explore the land for us. They will advise us on the best route to take and which towns we should enter.’
23 “This seemed like a good idea to me, so I chose twelve scouts, one from each of your tribes.24 They headed for the hill country and came to the valley of Eshcol and explored it. 25 They picked some of its fruit and brought it back to us. And they reported, ‘The land the Lord our God has given us is indeed a good land.’
Israel’s Rebellion against the Lord
26 “But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God and refused to go in. 27 You complained in your tents and said, ‘The Lord must hate us. That’s why he has brought us here from Egypt—to hand us over to the Amorites to be slaughtered. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have demoralized us with their report. They tell us, “The people of the land are taller and more powerful than we are, and their towns are large, with walls rising high into the sky! We even saw giants there—the descendants of Anak!”’
29 “But I said to you, ‘Don’t be shocked or afraid of them! 30 The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. 31 And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’
32 “But even after all he did, you refused to trust the Lord your God, 33 who goes before you looking for the best places to camp, guiding you with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day.
— Deuteronomy 1:19-33 (MSG)
I was struck by how closely my own response to life sometimes mirrors that of the Israelites. God was giving them amazing land, replete with good things…and they turned it down because the scouts mentioned the size of the people/cities. They even went so far as to say that God must hate them, the same God who delivered them from Egypt, dropped food from the sky, gushed water from rocks, and annihilated whole armies for them!
That seemed ludicrous to me until I realized that I do the exact same thing. God will do something incredible for me — provide resources, give me a needed word, send a friend my way just at the right moment — and then the next month I’m declaring God hates me because something doesn’t look the way I think it should. How quickly I forget how powerful, miraculous, and for me my God is, all because of the size of problem! As if God is intimidated.
What scout’s report have you put in front of what God said He would do? He is for you. He didn’t bring you out this far only to abandon you!