Getting to the place God wants to lead us can be difficult. There are times when he gives us a glimpse of what is to come so as not to overwhelm us; a time when we see His promises are true, that he desires good things for us. Yet even though we can clearly see the good things God promises — that through Jesus we can overcome — it can be hard to not focus on the challenges. Such was the case with the Israelites as they journey from Egypt to the promised land.
In the wilderness, God was preparing the Israelites to enter the land he promised to them — the land he promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 50:24). They were told how good this land would be, “a good and spacious land… a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:8).” In Numbers 13 he tells Moses: “Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel (13:2).” God knows the land is exceptionally good for them, yet he knows he can’t merely give them the land in one day.
In the course of their journey God is training the Israelites to trust Him; teaching them how to become a nation; equipping them to inhabit the land he promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now he wants them to see this land for themselves. He wants to give them a glimpse of the goodness he has in store for them. He tells Moses to “send a man from each of their fathers’ tribes, every one a leader among them (Numbers 13:2)” — a representative from each tribe.
God promises good things for you: “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).” God’s promises are true. Sometimes to encourage us, he gives us a glimpse of this future so we can see for ourselves the good things he has in store for us. He knows the journey can be tough and exhausting, but he wants us to focus on His destination. It’s still easy to focus on the negative, as you can see if you read on in Numbers 13, but we must continue to have faith that what God says is true.
© 2021 CGThelen
“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” – Hebrews 10:35-36