5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.8 If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.9 Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.Numbers 14:5-9
In verses 5-6 Moses and Aaron went face down in response to the rebellion of the people. Joshua and Caleb, two of the twelve spies that entered in to the land, ripped their clothes off- a sign of passion and distress. Their message took four main thoughts.
First, they said that the children of Israel were blessed to have the opportunity of the good land that they had spied out. Second, they said God would give them the land. Third, they pleaded with the people not to rebel against God because of fear. Lastly, they pleaded with the people not to fear the people of the land, for they are “bread”, or God’s provision, for them in this new land.
Joshua and Caleb’s faith in God and desire to obey lead them to courageously and articulately stand up to this crowd of people. Ultimately this crowds decision lead to dire consequences, but Joshua and Caleb were brought through these consequences. God used them despite the decision of the majority.
Whether or not we can win the argument that God wants us to make is not a factor in standing up for what is right. The potential that others may not listen to us should not keep us from making that argument. Just because it is God’s will or desire doesn’t ensure that the people will buy in. Yet, if it is what God wants us to say, we should say it clearly and passionately.
- We should passionately pursue discovering what God desires.
- We should passionately obey what God desires.
- We should passionately proclaim what God desires.
- What scares you or keeps you from standing up for what is right?
- Are you a Joshua and Caleb, or are you a scared spy?
- Are you passionately pursuing, obeying and proclaiming God’s desires for your life?