“The Lord must hate us. That’s why he has brought us here from Egypt—to hand us over to the Amorites to be slaughtered.”
The twelve leaders had returned from scouting the promise land. Two of them raved about the beautiful land, saying it was indeed everything God had been promising, and they encouraged the community to press forward and claim the land that had been promised to them!
But the other ten didn’t see that. All they saw were obstacles and enemies. They incited fear and rebellion, causing the nation to cry out, “The Lord must hate us! That’s why he has brought us here from Egypt — to hand us over to the Amorites to be slaughtered.”
Do you see what’s going on here? Instead of hearing the good news that the land ahead of them was everything God had been promising them, they believed the worst.
As I’ve said before, I’m on a journey of reading through the Bible in chronological order, with the help of The Bible Recap as a resource and a guide. I’ve now read Genesis, Job, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. And through these books I’ve gotten to see a lot of God’s character. And this is specifically why the verse I’m talking about today struck a chord with me. Because of all I’ve seen in these five books so far, God isn’t out to get us. He doesn’t play with us like toys. He doesn’t create these complex evil schemes to destroy us.
So to see the Israelites claim “The Lord must hate us!”…it simply stopped me in my tracks.
God didn’t hate them. In fact, he felt the very opposite and had done nothing but act in that manor. Yet all they could see was their own fear. And all they could do was act out of that fear.
Had they learned nothing since Egypt?
This is where the rubber meets the road. Because as soon as I was surprised by their reaction, I was convicted of my own reactions to the way God works.
God doesn’t hand a good life to us in a pretty basket. And what he was asking of the Israelites wasn’t pretty or easy either. He told them, in a matter of words, Before you is the land I have set aside for you. But you must go in and drive out those who live there now. You must go to war with them and destroy them – even though they are more numerous and stronger than you.
But he also said, in a manner of words, I will go with you and I will give you victory.
But they didn’t believe his promise of victory. Even though they had witnessed miracle after miracle after miracle, they still doubted his power. They still doubted that he cared for them.
I don’t think we need to see more miracles. I think we need to trust him. Clearly, miracles alone won’t keep us close to God. And I think the reason may be that we beg God for a miracle in times of desperation and agony, but as soon as we are satisfied we no longer need him.
It’s time to take a leap of faith and trust God. Time to cultivate a relationship with him that continues through the good and the bad. One that never ceases to acknowledge him and ask him for daily wisdom and guidance. For confidence and courage!
If we live one desperate moment to the next, we’ll only see the trials. We will assume that God has evil planned for us. But if we live in reverence we’ll see that he actually has a master plan at work that has a long term vision that reaches far past today.
He is worthy of our trust. He is trustworthy.
I dare you, as I’m daring myself, to assume the best. God is for you, not against you. Submit to his ways, his timing, his plans. And when he say go, go! When he says stay, stay. And when he sends you out against a foe that is bigger and stronger than you, march in confidence.
God doesn’t need to prove himself to us. But we need to prove to him that we can take orders and trust his word. And if we can do that, we will look back and see provision after provision, miracle after miracle, and a depth of relationship that will last into eternity.