Right Thinking, Right Words, Blessed Life – Daily Devotional (Day 3)
Numbers 14:28: “Say to them, `As I live,’ says the Lord, `just as you have spoken in My ears, so I will do to you”
In Numbers chapters 13-14, we read that the children of Israel arrived at Canaan, the land God had promised them. God had said that the land was rich and fertile, and He would give it to them. Moses sent out 12 tribal leaders of Israel to explore the land. When they returned, 2 of the leaders (Joshua and Caleb) reported that the land was indeed filled with milk and honey, as God had promised. They even brought back a cluster of grapes so large that it took two men to carry it on a pole. They also reported that the people living in the land were powerful, that there were giants living there, and that the cities were protected and fortified. Knowing that God had promised this land to them, Caleb exclaimed, “Let’s go at once to take the land. We can surely conquer it!” (Numbers 13:30)
However, 10 of the leaders gave an “evil report” (Numbers 13:32 and 14:37). They reported the same thing – the people in the land were huge and that there were giants living there. However, their conclusion was different – they were afraid and exclaimed that they could not go and conquer the land, as the people there were stronger than the Israelites. The 10 leaders convinced the Israelites that they would not be able to conquer the land, and as a result, the Israelites wept and cried out loud, “If only we had died in Egypt or in the wilderness!” They plotted among themselves to choose a new leader and go back to Egypt.
Here are two groups of men reporting the same facts – there are people living in the land who are powerful, and there are giants living in the land. Caleb and Joshua were ready to conquer the land (as God had promised them the land), while the remaining 10 leaders were afraid, convincing the Israelites to be afraid and say out loud that they wanted to return to Egypt or die in the wilderness.
Two men believed God’s promises. Regardless of the circumstances – regardless of the facts – regardless of what they saw when they visited the land – they believed God and His Word. God said He would give them the Promised Land. They took what God said to heart and believed Him.
The remaining 10 men and the Israelites did not believe God and instead believed what they saw and what they heard from other men. Keep in mind that by this time, the Israelites had failed to trust God 10 times. What happened next?
In Numbers 14:28 it says that what the Israelites feared the most – dying in the wilderness – came to pass. They got what they said. [Numbers 14:27-28, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me. 28“Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My ears, so I will surely do to you]. God pronounced that they would spent 1 year in the wilderness for each of the 40 days that the leaders visited the Promise Land – a total of 40 years, and that every adult (except for Joshua and Caleb) would die before their children could enter the Promised Land. Was this harsh punishment? Not compared to the instant death that God was considering (Numbers 14:12) until Moses asked God to forgive them and let them live. The Israelites refused to believe God even after they had experienced so many miracles. Time and time again they did not trust God. Failing to trust God brought more problems than facing the giants in the land!
The 10 leaders brought an “evil report” back to the Israelites, which they believed instead of God’s promises. Their evil report infected an entire generation and influenced all of them. Punishment came as a result of the words spoken by a few and then received by the rest of the people.
Joshua and Caleb did not deny that the people were giants, were strong or lived in walled cities. They said that God would defend them. They were looking at it in a positive light – it’s almost like they were saying, “praise God when we overcome them we will get their walled cities!” (Instead of “oh – they have walled cities – we will have a challenge.”) Caleb and Joshua displayed a positive outlook with it because they believed God’s Word – it didn’t matter what the situation looked like, as God promised them the land.
You have to speak to your situation and about your circumstances in light of what God’s Word says. You’re not denying what your circumstances are – you are simply saying that “yes, these are my circumstances, but God’s Word says that…..” Look up Bible versus that pertain to your circumstances, and change your words – you need to talk about your situation in light of God’s Word all of the time. Get it in the right perspective – God’s perspective. If you don’t, it’s an evil report. You don’t want to experience what you fear the most – you want to experience the fullness of God’s blessings!
Numbers – Chapters 13-14
Hebrews 3:17-19 (NLT), “17 And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? 18 And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him? 19 So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest.”
Hebrews 3:19 (AMP), “So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest], because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust in and rely on God [unbelief had shut them out].”
What words are you saying today that are negative?
Write down the verses and phrases that line up with God’s Word that you will declare today:
Remember to thank God and honor Him with your words. You may want to begin your praise to God with a verse from the Bible or a song you’ve heard.
WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU THINK GOD IS SAYING TO YOU TODAY:
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