FOR WEDNESDAY *TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: Numbers 13:1-2, 17-14:9
“We went to the land to which you sent us and, oh! It does flow with milk and honey! Just look at this fruit! The only thing is that the people who live there are fierce, their cities are huge & well fortified. Worse yet, we saw descendants of the giant Anak.” (Numbers 13:27-28; The Message)
When the scouts of the Israelites returned from Canaan, they had good news and bad news. The good news was the amazing fruitfulness of the land – grapes so large that one bunch had to be carried by two men! Yet, the bad news was the fierce giants who occupied the land. Which carried more weight – the giant grapes or the giant men? Which would win out – the promised fruit or the perilous fear?
Most of the scouts allowed their fear of the giants to overshadow the promise of fruit. They chose to focus on the seemingly impossible challenge before them instead of trusting in the promise of God. Their report made the people question God’s promise. Where God was making a way for them, they responded: “No way!”
Yet, Caleb had the courage and faith to offer a minority vote – “Surely there is a way – God will make a way!” Eugene Peterson writes, “When we engage in an act of faith as Caleb did, we give up insisting that head knowledge is our primary means of understanding. Faith isn’t a conclusion we come to simply on the basis of what we see. It’s a conclusion we come to on the basis of who God is” [Conversations, p. 213].
PRAYER: God of Promise, open my eyes that I may see the world around me in a different way – by trusting in You instead of giving into my fears and doubts. Amen.
*The Scripture Reading for each day is selected from the Revised Common Daily Lectionary used in A Disciple’s Journal – 2014 by Steven W. Manskar]