Scripture reading for February 14: Numbers 13-16
We are prone to be strongly influenced by what we see 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 bought a Cessna 172 with instrument rating. 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 had to watch the instruments to learn where the wings were. My mind would play tricks on me. It sometimes felt like we were flying sideways or going up or down, but the instruments told the truth. When flying airplanes I had to learn to trust the instruments!
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! (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 against Moses and the Lord, saying that God and Moses had brought them this far to let them die. They talked of stoning Moses and the glory of the Lord appeared at the Tent of Meeting. God viewed their grumbling and rebellion against Moses as against Him! (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! They all would wander in the wilderness for 40 years as punishment for their rebellion! (Numbers 14:29-35) Don’t live by your sight and feelings alone, keep your focus on the instruments (God’s Word) and avoid a crash!