God had promised to bring Israel into a land “flowing with milk and honey”, meaning a land that had been abundantly blessed by God. In Numbers 13 God tells a group of men to go spy out the land so they can see what Israel was about to possess. Verses 27-28 contain the report the spies brought back:
“And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large…”
When the Israelites heard that the inhabitants of the land were numerous and strong and their cities were large and heavily defended they completely forgot about the promises of God. They decided that they didn’t want to go into that land and began to complain, yet again, that they were better off in slavery in Egypt. This lack of faith in God led them to wander around in circles in the desert for 40 years, instead of immediately stepping into the blessing God had reserved for them.
When I read this this morning I thought to myself “Why did God want them to go spy out the land? He knew that the inhabitants were large. He knew the cities were well fortified. He knew that this would frighten the spies, so why would He tell them to go?”. Then I came to this conclusion, He was testing their faith and setting himself up to perform a miracle.
Out of the 12 spies that were sent only 2, Caleb and Joshua, had the right attitude. They saw how big the people were, they saw the cities, but they also knew who their God was. They remembered how God had saved them from the Egyptians and had sustained them all those years in the wilderness. They knew that God was bigger than anything they were going to encounter in that land.
We need to have that same mentality. Sometimes God shows us something that is way too big for us and we have the tendency to shrink back from it. I know that I’ve done that. God has given me big dreams that are impossible for me to do, which means that He has the opportunity to perform a miracle on my behalf. Every time I think about my dream, it’s an opportunity for me to respond with a heart of faith, remembering what God has done for me. I’m not saying that I’m perfect and I always trust Him, because I fail over and over again in this area. But when I read the stories in the Bible or even think about what He’s already done in my life it’s a “no brainer” that God is going to come through for me again.
When you’re in an impossible situation, it’s an opportunity for you to exercise your faith. Trust Him. He will come through for you.