January 3, 2018
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
We have taken a five-blog break over the Christmas and New Year holidays. It is time to get back to Winners Or Whiners? – the third study of Numbers 13:30 through 33:
…Caleb quieted the people…and said, “Let us go up at once and take pos-
session, [of Canaan] for we are well able to 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 stronger than we….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. There we saw the giants (the descendants of
Anak…); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were
in their sight.”
Joshua and Caleb were Winners! The remaining ten of the twelve spies sent out to reconnoiter the Promised Land of Canaan were Whiners!
• Joshua and Caleb said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
• The ten complained, “We are not able to go up…”! And then they proceeded to make up negative reasons why Israel could not conquer Canaan!
We started to explore in Winners Or Whiners? – I and II the negative thinking upon which the Whiners based their objections; and the reason why they thought the way they did:
• The thinking behind their negativity: They were looking at the whole invasion of Canaan with their own minds – their five senses – and not by putting their faith in the LORD’s promises! (See II Corinthians 5:17; Hebrews 11:1, 6).
• Their negative thinking:
✡ Numbers 13:28 and 28 – “…we saw the descendants of Anak there…[and] the Amalekites…the Hittites, the Jebusites…the Amorites…and the Canaanites….” These were all strong opponents. But the descendants of Anak were especially troubling! In verse 33 we are told, “…the descendants of Anak came from the giants….” As discussed in Winners And Whiners? – I, “…they are said by a number of Bible scholars to be descended from the Nephilim – the offspring of fallen angels and human women!”
✡ Numbers 13:31 – “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” They should have called to mind that the Egyptians were much stronger than the fleeing Israelites! But God got the victory! (See Exodus 14:26-30).
✡ Numbers 13:32 – “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants….” And we pointed out that as they said this, they were standing there with one bunch of grapes so large “…they carried it between two of them on a pole.” (Numbers 13:23). But maybe they were thinking more of those who already occupied the land instead of food production.
✡ Numbers 13:32 – “…all the people [of Canaan] whom we saw…are men of great stature.” Yes, as they said in verse 33, “…we saw the giants…”! They saw some giants – but surely the majority of the inhabitants were not giants! However, if you want to bolster your reasoning, exaggerate!
…And so they convincef themselves they could not conquer
Canaan…and they convinced a multitude of others also!
All this is review…necessary because of the twelve-day break between Winners Or Whiners? – II and III. Let’s go on and examine their final Whiner’s argument…
✡ Numbers 13:33 – “…we saw the giants…and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” This is a common thought process that happens in the minds of timid souls! “Wow! They are big! And we, by comparison are small! We must look that way to them too! ” They imagined what is running through their opponents’ mind, and then transfer that to their own thinking! And they forget the faith concepts of the LORD (later recorded in Scripture, but already implied by God’s power)…
▸ Psalm 18:3 – “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.”
▸ Isaiah 54:17 – “No weapon formed against you shall prosper….”
▸ Jeremiah 32:27 – “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? ”
▸ Mark 10:27 – “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
▸ Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
…and so many, many more Biblical statements of faith!
There were two Winners – Joshua and Caleb!
• Numbers 13:30 – “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.”
• Numbers 14:6-9 – “And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh …tore their clothes; and…spake to all…the children of Israel…, ‘The land we passed through…is an exceedingly good land. 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. Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection is departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.’ ”
In our next blog we will see how it all worked out!