The two men looked at each other, incredulous. They watched as Moses and Aaron fell face down in front of the assembly, a sign of their great distress.
Without a word, the two spies torn their garments, grieving over the disbelief that spread in the camp. They heard loud cries coming from everywhere, and could not believe their ears at the sound of the same old complaints:
“If only we had died in Egypt!”
“We can’t defeat them. We will all die in Canaan!”
“Let us choose a new leader to take us back to Egypt!”
They had been set free from bondage and watched as God delivered and protected them through a series of miraculous events. Now, with the Promised Land at arm’s reach, they refused to trust and obey. They gave ears to the reports from the ten skeptical spies who returned with a bad report, instead of trusting God’s words that echoed from Caleb and Joshua’s lips.
I can only imagine what went through the foursome’s minds. Moses, Aaron, Caleb and Joshua, watching the multitude of Jews denying God’s promise, anguished by the decision of the majority… knowing that there would be serious consequences for their stubborn disbelief.
You know the story: As consequence of their rebellious and faithless spirits, the entire nation is left to wander in circles through the wilderness for 40 years. Every Jew, 20 years old and up, died without entering God’s Promise Land. A whole generation missed God’s best… and never entered His rest.
The tragic account is told in detail in Numbers 13-14.
Later, as the younger generation led by Joshua entered Canaan, it was just a matter of time before the sins of the fathers crept into their children’s hearts. Unbelief, idolatry and ingratitude ooze from the pages of the historical books in the Old Testament, as God’s people tested His lovingkindness all the way to captivity. Déjà vu.
I just finished a long and detailed study of the Old Testament’s historical books. For over a year, I have studied the Jews’ behavior towards God, and the nation’s spiritual ups and downs. I have marveled at the miracles afresh, and shook my head at their blunt disobedience and lack of faith. Every account brought me either joy… or conviction, as I was reminded of how much Israel’s history mirrors my own.
I wish I could tell you I have come to a place where unbelief is never a problem anymore… or that idols don’t still try to creep in, clouding my devotion to the Savior.
But you know better.
You know it, because you are Israel too. We all are.
We have watched the waters part before us… and then wondered whether God could defeat the next giant.
We have feasted on Mana until our bellies were full… and then complained that it was not as tasty as the fruit we ate as slaves in Egypt.
We have longed for the pleasures of Egypt, while forgetting they cost our peace and freedom.
We have melted our golden calves, just to turn our hearts to idols of clay.
We have left Egypt… and then sinned our way to captivity again.
We have believed, and then doubted… obeyed, and then rebelled. Up… and down… and then up once more.
Can you relate, my friend? Do you still often find yourself on a spiritual seesaw, feeling like Daddy’s first grader, all over again?
It may be a stronghold that you thought you had mastered… or a temptation that creeps into your mind more often than you wish to admit.
It may be a task that you know you are unqualified to carry out… or unforgiveness that keeps you anchored to the wilderness of defeat.
Or maybe you allow discouragement to take a hold of your heart, as Satan uses naysayers to make you feel inadequate and weak.
Today you are up… tomorrow you are down.
Seesaw Faith. E.x.h.a.u.s.t.i.n.g.
Are you tired yet? I know I was.
If you are there, I would like to challenge you with this mighty Truth: Our loving Father is ever near, prodding our hearts to come back to Him.
It wasn’t God who abandoned Israel. It was Israel who turned their hearts from following Him, every single time. And yet, each time they repented, cried out and chose to obey and trust Him, Yahweh rejoiced in restoring their relationship, planting their feet on the Land Flowing with Milk and Honey again.That’s the great Grace of God – Grace that invites us to start over with a clean slate. Click To Tweet
On the other hand, so long as we allow the bad reports, the giants of fear, the tentacles of sin and unbelief, or the opinions of others to steal our peace or make us stumble, we will never graduate from the elementary school of Seesaw Faith.
We will never enter His rest.
But today, His Amazing Grace cries out to you and me:
Do not harden your hearts as when they (the Jews) provoked me (Hebrews 3:15-19.) Instead, trust me… Believe in Me… Obey me…Let My Words drown the giants, the fears, the appetites. Bring them all into submission to the knowledge of whom You are in Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) Click To Tweet
Forgiven. Righteous. Strong. Beloved. That’s how I see you.
So, enter My rest. For the Work and the battle are Mine, and Mine alone.
Your only job is to rest in Me.