Monday, July 2, 2012

Faith from our Hearts

"Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, 
'We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.'”
Numbers 13:30

God tells Moses to send spies from the tribes of Israel into Canaan, the land that He has promised to give them. They survey the land for forty days and see the fruit of the land - including clusters of grapes so big they must be carried between two men on a pole (Numbers 13:13). They also see some of the strong inhabitants living there. And although the land is, indeed, good and God has promised to give it to Israel, they only focus on the size of the enemy.  Many of the spies would rather retreat then move forward in faith because they have seen some things that cause them to doubt (Numbers 13:28). In fact, they even exaggerate the negatives to the people in order to support their stance (Numbers 13:32). But then there's Caleb, the son of Jephunneh from the tribe of Judah, one of the twelve spies. Caleb, whose name means "faithful".  Caleb surely lives up to his name. Caleb stands up in faith and quiets the people. He encourages his people "by all means" to go into Canaan. "We will surely overcome it," he says. Oh, that we were more like Caleb. Taking God at His word, refusing to give into fear of what we see with our eyes and trusting Him with all our hearts. And then passing that faith onto those around us who are doubting. "Significantly, two men could see the exact same sights - the same grapes, the same men, the same land, the same cities - one can come away singing in faith, and the other is filled with a sense of certain doom. Ultimately, faith or unbelief do not spring from circumstances or environment, but from our hearts, which must be changed by God." (David Gruzik)

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