Unbelief Due to Giants in the Land

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” So they gave the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people we saw are men of great size, there also we saw the Nephillim; and we became like grasshoppers in our own sign, and so we were in their sight. ┬áNumbers 13:33 (NASB)

Her panic attacks keep her from being able to function sometimes, in fact, some employers won’t hire her because of her panic issues. Yet, she needs a job and lives on assistance from the government, aid organizations and even gifts from ours and other churches. She has just been diagnosed with two brain aneurysms. Her mother died from one 25 years ago and she is worried about that history. She has children, some adult and some younger. She will have surgery on the larger aneurysm before the end of the month. She is struggling with understanding God’s will here.

I think I can understand why she has fear. Her situation has some pretty big obstacles. There are giants in the land.

What are your giants? For Israel that day, it was literally giant people, like Goliath. 9, 10, maybe 12 feet tall. Archaeologists have found the bones of ancient giants in many parts of the world. They were real, and the ones that Israel saw were powerful and aggressive militarily. They’re 10 feet tall and the Israelite men were just over 5 foot. They’re twice as big, we don’t have a chance, what can we do?

Of course instead of believing God like Caleb did, the people failed to believe God. Their unbelief kept them from God’s blessings and provisions. They failed again and again in their belief. They suffered again and again because of unbelief.

We are concerned with the direction our country is taking. Yesterday there were 5 police killed in Dallas as it appears some people abused a peaceful protest to exercise their hate for the police. This week, a presidential candidate appears to be above the law although her activity in the past has been criminal. There is a wave of fear because of ISIS and a level of persecution coming against Christians and the Church, and Lord save you if you stand for the Biblical truth about LGBT.

What about your health? Or your financial circumstances? What about your temptations to sin? Are there obstacles to peace in your family, broken relationships, unfairness at work, or hate from your neighbor? What is your giant?

If you exercise unbelief, like Israel did in Numbers 13, than you are in for more difficulty and the giant may grow bigger and may become giants.

It isn’t always easy to let go and trust God, but David did. Why did David trust God against Goliath? He knew God’s track record. He knew God’s word. He chose to trust God because God has historically been proven true and when David was in situations where belief was absolutely necessary, God proved himself to David.

That is why Caleb (and Joshua) were considered the good spies. They believed and were ready to follow God into the fray. The giants are puny compared to God. They chose to trust the one who is the biggest and the greatest.

Christians are fretting about many circumstances and uncertainties today. Believe God and the way faith grows is to know the Word that shows us God’s activity, the Bible. For it reveals to us that faith comes by hearing the word of the Lord.

Let’s believe!

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The Bungee Truck

This devotion first appeared on September 18, 2002 in the LaPlata Home Press.

A commercial a few years ago by the GMC truck division showed a truck sitting on a ramp mounted on the side of a bridge over a very deep gorge. All at once, someone pulls a lever and the ramp tilts and the truck rolls off the ramp. The truck is attached to a bungee cord and as it falls, the first thought one might have is, “Will the bungee cord snap?” Of course the truck stretches the cord to its limit and bounces back into the air (see commercial below).

This seemed like a bunch of foolishness to me. I saw the commercial many times and still wondered what the purpose of the commercial was, until, one day as I watched, I also paid attention to the commentator. Before, the only purpose I could imagine the commercial to be about was to show that the bungee cord was capable of holding the weight of the truck and the physical properties of gravity as the truck reached the limits of the cord. As I listened to the commentator, I realized that they were illustrating the strength of the truck’s frame and towing capacities as the forces of gravity worked against the truck.

When we study the Bible, especially prophecy, and in particular the book of Revelation, we see pictures described and wonder, “What is the book really about?” and, “What do these symbols and pictures mean?” Though the pictures are real, the message is given by the author, who is Jesus. That message is one of encouragement, hope, and victory for the Christian. Therefore, instead of focusing all of our attention on the pictures in Revelation, we need to focus on the message presented to avoid the confusion of misunderstanding and misapplying the pictures. It is like seeing the commercial and not understanding the meaning at all.

The key to understanding the book is presented in the first three chapters of Revelation. The one who overcomes by faith and faithfulness, no matter what, will inherit eternal life with God the Father and Christ the Savior. What a picture! What a promise! What a God!!

All scripture quotations are from the New American Standard.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_dXgp4dpAE