“Moshe and Aharon fell on their faces before the entire assembled community of the people of Israel. Y’hoshua the son of Nun and Kalev the son of Y’funeh, from the detachment that had reconnoitered the land, tore their clothes and said to the whole community of Israel, “The land we passed through in order to spy it out is an outstandingly good land! If Adonai is pleased with us, then he will bring us into this land and give it to us — a land flowing with milk and honey.”-Numbers 14:5-8
In verse 5 of Numbers 14, we’re told that Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in response to the weeping and wailing of the congregation.
Why in the world did they do that?
Were they worshipping the elders?
Were they conceding that the people were right after all and that Israel should not attempt to enter into the Land of Canaan?
Quite the contrary actually.
Moses and Aaron had fallen on their faces out of great fear of what the Lord was going to do in response to this flagrant display of unfaithfulness from the people.
They were in utter despair and at a loss of what to do at this mass rebellion taking place before their very eyes.
Just at the point when it seemed like things couldn’t get any bleaker, in stepped in two beacons of hope: Joshua and Caleb.
Joshua, the one being groomed to succeed Moses, had up until now been keeping silent but now steps up and begins to flex his leadership muscles.
Together with Caleb the two men attempt to persuade the people to reconsider.
Now at this juncture, I really want you to pay close attention to what Joshua and Caleb are saying because it reflects the type of attitude the Father is seeking from us.
Joshua and Caleb say…
“The land we passed through in order to spy it out is an outstandingly good land!”
“If Adonai is pleased with us, then he will bring us into this land and give it to us — a land flowing with milk and honey.”
And concerning the fears the people have towards the Canaanites, they say…
“And don’t be afraid of the people living in the land — we’ll eat them up! Their defense has been taken away from them, and Adonai is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”
This is awesome!
Are you catching the gist of this?
This is the attitude our Father in Heaven wants us to adopt.
We’re not talking about a false confidence based on delusions of grandeur or trusting in our own strengths and abilities.
No, we’re talking about an unshakeable sense of faith and trust that when the Lord says He’s going to do something, we’ve got to understand that the game has been fixed and that there is no power in heaven or earth that can turn it around.
However, if we are unfaithful and succumb to an attitude of fear and disbelief, the victory that could have been ours can be postponed.
In that case, the Lord will use a later generation through which to fulfill His Purposes and Will.
It is to the faithful and the obedient that the victory belongs.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
By faith Abel brought God
a better offering than Cain did.
By faith he was commended as righteous,
when God spoke well of his offerings.
And by faith Abel still speaks,
even though he is dead.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life,
so that he did not experience death:
“He could not be found,
because God had taken him away.”
For before he was taken,
he was commended as one who pleased God.
And without faith it is impossible to please God,
because anyone who comes to him
must believe that he exists
and that he rewards those
who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen,
in holy fear built an ark to save his family.
By his faith he condemned the world
and became heir of the righteousness
that is in keeping with faith.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place
he would later receive as his inheritance,
obeyed and went, even though he did not know
where he was going.
By faith he made his home in the promised land
like a stranger in a foreign country;
he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob,
who were heirs with him of the same promise.
For he was looking forward to the city with foundations,
whose architect and builder is God.
And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age,
was enabled to bear children because she
considered him faithful who had made the promise.
And so from this one man, and he as good as dead,
came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky
and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
All these people were still living by faith when they died.
They did not receive the things promised;
they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance,
admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.
People who say such things show that
they are looking for a country of their own.
If they had been thinking of the country they had left,
they would have had opportunity to return.
Instead, they were longing for a better country
—a heavenly one.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for he has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him,
offered Isaac as a sacrifice.
He who had embraced the promises was about
to sacrifice his one and only son,
even though God had said to him,
“It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”
Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead,
and so in a manner of speaking
he did receive Isaac back from death.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
By faith Jacob, when he was dying,
blessed each of Joseph’s sons,
and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
By faith Joseph, when his end was near,
spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt
and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months
after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child,
and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up,
refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God
rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
He regarded disgrace for the sake of Messiah
as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt,
because he was looking ahead to his reward.
By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger;
he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood,
so that the destroyer of the firstborn would
not touch the firstborn of Israel.
By faith the people passed through the Red Sea
as on dry land;
but when the Egyptians tried to do so,
they were drowned.