A Legacy of Faithlessness
Numbers 13:1-3 KJV
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them. And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel.
While Numbers 13 simply states that God told Moses to send people into the land to spy it out, Deuteronomy 1 expands on the account to make it clear that the people originally brought this very request (spying out the land) to Moses, who then got received a commandment of the LORD in the specifics of how to carry it out.
Deuteronomy 1:20-26 KJV
(20) And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us.
(21) Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
(22) And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.
(23) And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe:
(24) And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.
(25) And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us.
(26) Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:
One major lesson we can see from this experience is that the people actually failed the faith test as soon as they asked for a survey of the land, “to see which why they must go up, and what cities they would come across”. This is in contrast to the great faith displayed by their father Abraham, who went out as God instructed him, not even being sure where he was heading to.
As soon as the Israelites stopped relying on God for guidance, they became weak and fearful, and this wimpy legacy even tainted their children who never properly conquered the land (see Judges 1 and 2). They failed in such a spectacular manner, right on the brink of success!
Just think of how much they might have accomplished, had they gone up in faith, at this time, and conquered the land with 40 years of leadership under the mighty servant of God, Moses, and then followed this by further expansion under another highly capable leader, Joshua! Consider how different their legacy would have been!
Now, consider the legacy that you and I are leaving for our own children when we fail to exercise faith today… Are we destroying all of the spiritual obstacles in the land? Or are we leaving them around to become a thorn in our flesh, and setting a bad stage for our children?
Can we afford to be leaving a legacy of faithlessness? Or will we opt for faithfulness and obedience instead?