Saturday after Invocavit
Scripture: Numbers 13:26-33 (NKJV)
26 Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.”
30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
The treachery and horrible lack of faith portrayed in this text is truly sad, and demonstrates how evil such behavior is, for through these words and deeds the leaders of the people are able to lead the people away from the Promised Land and God. The first part of the spies’ report was truthful, but the goodness of the land was offset by their faithlessness which lead them to think the inhabitants of the land were too powerful for Israel to conquer. In their disbelieve they failed to acknowledge that God fought for them and would faithfully fulfill His promise.
Their words became exaggerations and distortions meant to terrify the people and discourage them from receiving the wonderful gift of grace the Lord offered. They claimed the inhabitants of the land were descendants of Anak, referencing the Nephilim, in hopes of evoking fear by implying they were more than mere mortals in some way. Implying that Israel could not hope to hold its own with powerful experienced warriors of such great stature. These leaders are entrusted to deliver a faithful testimony of what is discovered in the territory and choose instead to confess a lie meant to mislead the Lord’s people.
This is similar to what we see so often in Christianity today as leaders compromise, falsify, and deny the true (orthodox) teaching (doctrine) of Scripture. They are entrusted to deliver a faithful testimony of what is discovered in the Word of God and choose instead to confess a lie meant to mislead the Lord’s people. Their confession in word and deed misdirect and discourage all from faithfully receiving the Lord’s blessed Means of Grace in all their fullness.
Heavenly Father, through Your abundant grace may this never be true among us. Amen.