The Lord spoke to Moses: “Send men to scout out the land of Canaan I am giving to the Israelites. Send one man who is a leader among them from each of their ancestral tribes.–Numbers 13:1-2, CSB
In Exodus 3, we learn about the profound call on Moses’ life––to deliver God’s people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. Moses initially couldn’t believe the God of the universe saw fit to choose him for such a calling.
All the while, God knew he himself would be with
God had a plan. God had a promise he wanted to fulfill.
“Go and assemble the elders of Israel and say to them: The LORD, the God Moses every step of the way, directing him in what to say and where to go while also performing signs and wonders through him. of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me and said: I have paid close attention to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised you that I will bring you up from the misery of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, Hethites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites––a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:16-17, CSB).
In these few verses, we learn that God’s master plan was to not only bring the Israelites out of their misery in Egypt, but to bring them to an even greater land flowing with milk and honey. The Israelites saw the power and wonders of God in motion. They observed 10 plagues inflicted on the Egyptians. They saw God go ahead of them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. The Israelites saw the parting of the Red Sea in their favor and later how the waters covered the Egyptians. God made himself incredibly evident to them.
Yet, the Israelites continuously lost their focus. They lost sight of God’s plan. They forgot where they had been delivered from and who delivered them. In Numbers 13, the Lord instructs Moses to send men to observe the land of Canaan. “Send men to scout out the land of Canaan I am giving to the Israelites. Send one man who is a leader among them from each of their ancestral tribes” (Numbers 13:1-2, CSB).
What I love about these few scriptures is the Lord instructed Moses to send men to scout out land that he fully intended to give to the Israelites. Instead, the men who scouted out the land reported their fears interlaced with what they saw, “So they gave a negative report to the Israelites about the land they had scouted: “The land we passed through to explore is one that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great size. We even saw the Nephilim there - the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim! To ourselves, we seemed like grasshoppers, and we must have seemed the same to them” (Numbers 13:32-33, CSB).
The men who scouted out the land were instructed to report back on what they saw, not what they perceived. They perceived themselves to be like grasshoppers compared to the odds in front of them. When we lose sight of our focus, we divert our attention from God to the perception of the odds in front of us instead of remembering the promise and the one who brought us this far.
Keep your focus on God, not the odds.
Prayer: Thank you, God, for the many promises you have spoken over me. I admit, at times, I lose sight of them. My own fears and perceptions tend to get the best of me. Through your power, I ask that you give me the faith to believe even when the odds are stacked against me. You’ve brought me this far, and you’ll bring me even further. Amen.
Your Turn: Is there a promise that God has given to you that seems out of reach? Why?