July 2: 29 Sivan
According to tradition, it was on this day that Moses dispatched the twelve spies to go into the land of Canaan:
“Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, ‘Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.’ Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.” (Numbers 13:17-20)
According to what Moses said later in Deuteronomy, the plan to spy out the land was actually the brainchild of the elders of Israel (Deuteronomy 1:22). Furthermore, this mission was to discover how to take land, not if they could take the land. As we know, ten of them returned with an evil report even though what they reported was accurate. Their evil report said that there were giants and fortified cities in the land, which was true and accurate. So, why was it considered an evil report?
The reason is, their assessment of the situation instilled fear in the people of God that resulted in disobedience. Their report caused the people to doubt God’s ability and His willingness to bring them into the land of Canaan. Their doubt as to whether God could or would keep His promise caused them to fear men and circumstances more than they feared God. That is why an accurate description of what they found in the land was called evil.
This is important to us because, it may be that the testimony of the ten spies – stating things that are true in order to provoke fear in God’s people – is with us today. Instead of encouraging God’s people to have confidence in His power to deliver us from any and all enemies, there are those who are instilling fear in God’s people. They focus more on the giants and fortified cities rather than on God’s abilities and His promise. Some believers who spend far too much time talking about chem-trails, FEMA camps or even giants, nephilim, and not nearly enough time speaking of God’s purpose. In other words, our focus should be upon what He is focused upon: that the wicked would turn from their sin and be saved.
We need to focus more on how, even in the midst of chaos, God is still able to set a distinction between His people and everyone else. Some believers have argued that to speak in terms of hope and deliverance in this evil day is mimicking a secular-friendly, “feel-good” message. To that, I wish to respond in this manner:
For the Lord spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. He will be as a sanctuary’” (Isaiah 8:11-14)
There is no doubt that we are living in very troubling times and dangers are at every hand. There is no doubt that, in His time, God will judge the wickedness of this world. Still, should these perils cause us to stop dead in our tracks? Knowing that these things are going on, should it immobilize us? Should we wring our hands in woe and live in dread of the things that are coming upon the earth? Or should we, as Messiah instructed, occupy till He comes and be compelled to look up, knowing that our redemption is at hand?
This is why I have hope. That He has promised redemption is why I choose to look to God’s promises and purposes, rather than to men and to circumstances. We shouldn’t ignore the awful things that are going on around us. To the contrary, understanding of the things going on around us should provoke us as never before to teach, preach and reach out to the world as never before. Let us proclaim the blessed hope that we have in Messiah. If that’s a “feel good” message, then, so be it.