Saturday, May 31, 2014

Numbers 13

Today's reading in our daily plan is Numbers 13. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Moses sends out twelve men to explore the land of Canaan.  Canaan is the land that God promised to give the Israelites when He rescued them from slavery in Egypt.  It is often referred to as the "promised land."  
  • After 40 days of exploration, the 12 men return to report their findings.
  • There is a disagreement among the 12 as to whether or not they should move forward and claim the land God promised them.  Only Caleb and Joshua believe they should go take possession of the land.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Planning and preparation are important steps in accomplishing God's purposes.  Moses decided what information was needed before the people could enter the promised land.  He then took careful steps to get that information.  Common sense is a valuable aid God has given us to help us accomplish His purposes.  
  • Fear holds us back from enjoying God's blessing on our life.  God told the Israelites that the promised land (Canaan) was rich and fertile.  Not only that, he promised that this land would be theirs.  When the spies reported back to Moses, they gave plenty of good reasons for entering the land, but they couldn't stop focusing on their fear.  Talk of giants (the "descendants of Anak" were a race of abnormally large people) and fortified cities made it easy to forget about God's promise to help.  

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • What big decision or large task are you currently facing?  Luke 14:28 says, "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.  Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?"  Don't overlook the appropriate amount of planning and preparation needed to make a wise decision or accomplish a large task.  Ask yourself what you need to know about the opportunity, and then obtain that knowledge.  
  • What fears are holding you back right now?  When facing a tough decision, don't let the negatives cause you to lose sight of the positives.  Weigh both sides carefully.  Also, don't let potential difficulties blind you to God's power to help and His promise to guide you and provide for you.  Take some time to share your fears with God and ask for help in moving forward.