Crystal Writes A Blog

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I Spy Games

Spies by Flickr User Hope Abrams, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Spies by Flickr User Hope Abrams, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I spy with my little eye, something giant. Traveling is the most fun when you have people to travel with, and even more fun when you play travel games together. When hubby and I traveled with the boys, we played games like “I Spy,” “A to Z” where you have to find something beginning with all the letters in the alphabet, and any variety of word association games. Hubby and I still like to play the one where each person says the next thing that comes to mind from the previous person’s word or statement, and we don’t even wait for long trips to be an excuse to play.

In today’s reading from Numbers 13:21 through Numbers 14:7, we’ve got the leaders from yesterday’s reading actually in The Land of Canaan to spy it out for God’s people to move in. They ran their recon mission from the wilderness of Zin to the entrance of Hamath, and then up into the south desert of Hebron. When they got there, they saw the wonderful fruit of the land of Eshcol (meaning “cluster”), and they cut a cluster of grapes so large it had to be carried on the shoulders of two men.

But then they spied the inhabitants of the land. Of course, giant fruit means giant people to eat it, right? They saw the sons of Anak who were likely descended from Nephilim (giants that were said to be half angels and half men), and they suddenly felt like grasshoppers by comparison. But God only sent them there to look at things, not to compare themselves until they saw themselves as too small to make a difference. Hmm, I wonder if I have ever done that? 🙂

Now they get back to Moses, and they begin to tell him of their journey. “It’s just like you said, Moses. It flows with milk and honey. And, wow, check out this fruit. But…” Ah, the “but” sentence. How often do we use it to excuse away a wonderful gift God has prepared for our lives? “But, what if I can’t succeed?” “But what if they don’t like me?” “But what if someone gets mad?” Of course, there’s a big difference in questioning things because you’re using wisdom to count the cost and questioning things because you’re scared to receive something promised to you by Your Creator.

Most people find it easier to see the glass as half empty, so when the travelers came back from their spy game with scary stories of giants and fortified cities, the children of Israel suddenly lost all hope in the promises of God. The people of the camp wept all night long because of their hopelessness. As if the fear of the unknown isn’t enough of a battle, to top it off with a good dose of discouragement made it just that much worse. Well, for most of them anyway.

Joshua and Caleb refused to agree with the other ten members of the jury. They chose to believe the word of God, and Caleb tried to quiet the people with encouragements. He said, “We ought to go up immediately and take possession of it; there is no question that we can conquer it.” But the people wouldn’t listen. Instead, they listened to the negative reports and began complaining to Moses that they wished they had stayed in Egypt. Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the people, and Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes and said to the whole community, “The land we passed through in order to spy it out is an outstandingly good land!

God’s word tells us that God has only good plans for us, and that He will do far more than we can even ask or think, but if you’re like me, you struggle with knowing exactly what it is that He has promised. I trust God that His perfect will is better than whatever blessings I can conceive, but there are some that believe it is a lack of faith to just let go and let God. Truthfully, I have no problem claiming the promises of God if I am sure they are from Him, but my struggle is with the knowing. I’d love to believe that no one who serves God will ever have to deal with sickness or trouble, but that doesn’t line up with even what His own disciples went through. So I will make my requests to God with the humility of knowing that He has already done more for me than I deserve or can repay. I spy with my little eye that His word promises me an eternity where God will wipe away ever tear from my eye, and where pain, death, and sorrow will be no more, and that makes this race of life worth running to the end.

June 1, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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