Learning to fly by instrument!
Scripture reading for February 15th: Numbers 13-16
Walking by faith is not always easy to learn. We are prone to be strongly influenced by sight and what our past experiences have conditioned us to believe and understand. In my younger days, I wanted to learn to fly an airplane. Several of my friends and I got together and bought a Cessna 172 with instrument rating. I wanted to be able to learn to fly by instruments. The flight instructor would put a hood over my head so I could only see the instrument panel, and off we would go. When we would turn, or go up or down, I would watch the instruments to learn where the wings were. My mind, however, would play tricks on me. I often felt like we were flying sideways or going up or down, when the instruments said we were flying level. When flying airplanes in clouds or fog, learning to trust the instruments are a life or death matter!
The twelve Israelite spies were sent into the promised land. They were told to determine what the land was like and what the inhabitants of that land were like. It was a military assessment. God had already told them that the land was flowing with milk and honey. He had already told them that He would take care of the inhabitants. God was to them like the instruments in the plane. If they had kept their focus on what God had said, they would not have veered off course! Two spies actually did keep on course, Joshua and Caleb! They pleaded with the others to get ready to go on in and possess the land that God had promised them. (Numbers 13:30) Ten spies got their eyes on the difficulties and began to spread fear, doubt and unbelief! (Numbers 13:31-33)
The whole community got into the act and began to complain and grumble, saying that God and Moses had brought them out of Egypt to let them die in the desert. As they talked of stoning Moses, the glory of the Lord appeared at the Tent of Meeting. God viewed their grumbling against Moses personally! (Numbers 14:11, 27) God’s judgment on them was to give them what they had feared–the whole generation 20 years and older died in the desert. (Numbers 14:29-35) This word encourages us to keep our focus on the instruments (God’s Word) and avoid a deadly crash!