Read Numbers 13:1-14:9
Who could blame the Israelites for being afraid? The exodus out of Egypt had led them to the borders of the Promised Land. The spies had discovered that Canaan was a wonderful and prosperous place, flowing with milk and honey. “Yet the people who live in the land are strong, and the towns are fortified and very large” (Numbers 13:28). On top of that some of the inhabitants were giants. How weak and insignificant they felt in comparison.
Life back in Egypt hadn’t been easy, but at least it had been predictable and there had been some security. Wandering in the harsh and barren wilderness was dangerous. Everything was different. Everything was uncertain. All they had to go on was the word of Moses. Every day they had to rely on God’s provision for food, water and protection. God had protected them and cared for them so far, but what about tomorrow? Who was this unseen and barely known God who told them to go forward? How did they know He could be trusted?
Can anyone blame them for being afraid and wanting to turn back? As a result they spent the next 40 years wandering in the wilderness instead of entering into the Promised Land and claiming God’s blessing. It would take another generation before God’s people got another chance.
I believe Sharon Church is in a similar situation, facing the same choice Israel faced on the borders of Canaan so long ago. We are on the border of a glorious future. As we move into the new year we are poised to enter a new season of ministry. “If the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey” (Numbers 14:8). Changes are coming – a new pastor, new members, new hopes and dreams, new ministries. Will we trust God? Will we follow where God leads us?
P.S. Thanks for all the Christmas cards and gifts. It is a great joy to be part of the Sharon Church, and to share with you in the ministry of Jesus Christ. I am forever grateful to God for bringing me into this wonderful church.
In Christ, Doug