I’m reading in Numbers and have hit chapter 13 where God sends the 12 spies into the Promised Land to check it out. They come back with good news (It’s amazing and God has kept His promise. There is food and land and a ton more!) and bad news (The people living there right now are giants and they will destroy us.)
Except Joshua and Caleb. They came back with just good news. The people didn’t scare them.
While this story has been taught a million times, and we get the idea that we are supposed to keep our eyes on God and trust Him to fight our battles for us, my question is why didn’t all of them?
They had God leading them with a cloud by day and a fire by night. He spoke to them. They had seen him work miracles. He had destroyed Pharaoh’s army, and it was the biggest world power there was. Why didn’t they believe God?
I wonder if it had to do with how they viewed God. I don’t think their God was “too small”. I’ve often heard that and even taught it. But how in the world could they have a “small” God after all they had experienced? I think it was more that they viewed God as their provider, but not much else. He fed them and took care of some of their needs. But that was what their relationship was all about. He was like Pharaoh, a wealthy slave driver. They were still in slave mentality. They hadn’t grasped the fact that God loved them, they may have just thought He owned them. They were still trying to survive, and He was calling them to freedom. They couldn’t grasp it. Their past and their deep seated fears kept them from trusting that God wanted them to love them. So they didn’t really trust Him.
How often do we do that? How often do we let what people have done to us, or what we have done to others, cloud how we view God? We doubt He can love us, because no one else has. We doubt He can protect us, because no one else really wants to. We doubt He will stay with us, because everyone else leaves. I mean, it makes sense on one level. It’s our experience. We live off what we have seen and felt.
But it doesn’t make sense on the other level. He proves Himself every day. He provides for us, He cares for us, and He works miracles around us everyday. We have to choose to see them.
He is good, and He is trustworthy. Yeah, I know, no one else is.
But they aren’t Him.
And He is not them.