The Israelite have been wandering in an seemingly endless quest of the promised land for many years, and finally they seem to have reached the outskirts of the land they had been dreaming about for so long. And we read about Moses who appointed 12 leaders to spy the land and bring back the “report” about the “promised land” so they finally subdue the land and claim their promise.
Moses commands them in Numbers 13:18-20
18 and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; 19 whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; 20 whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.
And the twelve chosen leaders set forth to survey their promised land with great expectations in anticipation of an easy victory and take over of the land. Their goal was to look for the best ways to overcome the people, look for weak spots and opportunities to win.
All the twelve saw the same things, but ten of them came back to Moses and the Israelite saying, “The land is good, but there are giants in the land. We look like grasshoppers in their eyes.“ They gave a negative report that affected a large multitude of people just because they were the majority of the twelve. And a large community of people were discouraged and step back from moving into victory and claim the promised land. Their negative report spread like wildfire throughout the camp and affected a large majority of the people and all of toil and years of hope seemed to be crumbling down.
On the other hand, two of the spies (Joshua & Caleb) came back with a different report. They saw the land, they saw the giants, they saw the walls, and said, “This looks like an opportunity for God to work!”
They saw an “opportunity” in the challenge. They saw the seemingly insurmountable problems with a different lens and saw it as the right formula for success.
And succeed they did because they were able to say some powerful words of encouragement and motivate the demotivated people.
6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’[a] 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”
It was a small minority against a large majority, but the minority won. Where are you in this, are you seeing some opportunities or are you seeing only challenges. If you are the minority against all odds, and trying to fight against the grain, be encouraged for if you stand your ground victory is yours, just “do not fear them”.
Be encouraged because Jesus said…”in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”