To get started, let’s read Deuteronomy 1:27-31, “And you complained in your tents, and said, ‘Because the Lord hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.  Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.”  “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, or afraid of them.  The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.” (NKJV)

The scene before us finds the children of God, having left Egypt, preparing to enter their Promised Land, Canaan.  Before they would go in and take the land, twelve spies were sent to check out the land to see if they could go in and possess it.  We read of their report in Numbers 13:27-30, “And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”  Although the Lord had promised this land to His people, and told them to go in and possess it, they hesitated.  Instead of trusting in the Lord, they sent in spies.  When they returned with a bad report, the people were discouraged and refused to take their promised land.  They were affected because of what they saw, rather than by what the Lord had said.

Notice, however, that Caleb told the people, “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”  We learn from Numbers 14:6-9 that Joshua also encouraged the people to enter the land.  What do we learn from this portion?

The Lord had promised His people in Exodus 3:8, “And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.”  His promise was to deliver them from Egypt and bring them into “a land flowing with milk and honey.”  Yet, the people allowed others to discourage them from going into the land, even though Caleb and Joshua had assured them they could enter the land, as the Lord has said.

How often do we read God’s Word, learn of His precious promises He has given to us, and yet, due to lack of faith, we do not enter into all the blessings the Lord has for us?  Let’s consider the words of the Lord in Deuteronomy 5:32, “Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.”  Faith and obedience is the key to a good and godly life that brings glory to the Lord.  We read in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  May we not refuse the Lord’s will, but follow His guidance in every aspect of our lives.  As I often say, “There is so safer place to be than in the center of God’s will.”  (199.8)