Sometimes I read a certain scripture over and over again and never quite understand it. When I here it explained though someone else's point of view, then I get a different perspective. One that helps. That's what happened today in my reading. I am reading a book by S. Michael Wilcox called Don't Leap with the Sheep and he opened up a whole new meaning to this certain scripture. He made it relate to me, that is what I believe the scriptures are meant for...to liken unto ourselves, to truly understand them. (Luke 24:45) Anyway the chapters that he talked about was in the book of Numbers 13-14.
The title of the chapter was Wall-watchers or Grape gathers
Before attempting to conquer the promised land, Moses sent 12 men, one from each tribe and "every one a ruler among them" into the land of Canaan. ( Numbers 13-14 ) They searched it from the north to the south. From the brook Eshcol they cut down "a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs."
Returning to the main encampment, they assured the children of Israel that "the land ...surely...floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it." However, in spite of the wonders of the land, the spies reported that "the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great....We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up the evil report of the land.:
Two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, disagreed with the assessment of the other 10 spies. They confirmed the fruitfulness of the land and testified, " let us go at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it."
Now the people had a choice. Would they direct their attention to the large cluster of grapes and the promise of the future bountiful harvests, or would they concentrate on the height of the walls and the difficulties in conquering the land? Unfortunately, they chose to focus on the difficulties rather than the blessings.
Caleb and Joshua tried to kindle faith in their hearts by assuring them, "If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into the land, and give it to us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us." Their efforts, however, evoked from the congregation only the threat to stone them.
Realizing that the present generation did not have the faith necessary to claim their inheritance in the promised land, the Lord took them at their word. They had said it would be better to die in the wilderness than attempt such a difficult task as conquering the high walls and mighty warriors. As a result of the final rebellion, the Lord declared that they would wander in the wilderness until all the older generations had died. The wandered for forty years.
Often in our lives we hear the conflicting reports of the spies. Then we must decide whether we will become wall-watchers or grape-gathers. Will we focus on the difficulties in obeying the certain commandment of the Lord, or will we focus on the fruits, remembering the promises He extends to those who trust Him.
I guess the thing that struck me in this scripture and which he mentions in his book is that we must not focus on the height of the walls and the power of the warriors. But we much remember if the Lord delights in us, we will have the sufficient strength to conquer our fears, surmount our obstacles and enjoy the fruits of the land.
I am grateful for those who have the talent to share what they know in a way that make sense to me. What a talent to be able to write in such a way that you feel like you are sitting across the table from an old friend who has so much wisdom and insights to share with you.
I have to admit, there have many times in my life that I have been a Wall Watcher instead of a Grape Gather. I know that the Lord will not give me anything that I can't handle or conquer, but sometimes I focus too long on the Wall and forget to just TRUST! Great lesson for me today. I hope it will be a bit of inspiration to you too!
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