What Did I Tell You?
I feel like I ask my kids this all the time. An example conversation: I say to the kids – Finish your chores and we will go get ice cream.
Riley: Mom, Emery says I’m not getting ice cream.
Me: What did I tell you?
R: If we finished our chores we will go get ice cream.
M: Did you finish your chores?
R: Yes, but Emery said….
M: Is Emery the parent?
M: Who is?
R: You are.
M: Why would you listen to Emery when I already told you we would go if you finished your chores?
R: I don’t know.
This conversation happens all the time. You would think my kids would understand by now that I am the parent. Whatever I say trumps whatever another kid says. Yet is happens over and over. I feel like this happens with God too. We are so much like the Israelites it’s not even funny. Take Numbers 13 for example. What did God say?
1 The LORD now said to Moses,2 “Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.”
I believe this was a test of sorts. God already knew what the land looked like and who lived there. He already knew the battles to be fought and how He was going to win them. I believe He wanted the men to explore the land to see if they trusted Him or not. They went and checked out the land-
27 This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces.28BUT the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!
Caleb was the only one that believed what God said -
30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”
But the other men who had explored the land did this -
31 But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!”32 So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge.
God: Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites.
Men: The land is beautiful and bountiful but the people there are powerful and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there.
God: Who’s bigger, Me or giants?
Men: You are.
God: What did I tell you?
Men: That you would give us the land.
God: Do you trust Me?
Application: God gives us a promise. We take a step towards that promise and there are huge obstacles – finances, sickness, infertility, job loss, loss of loved one, whatever it may be. We take our eyes off God and forget that He’s the One in charge of the world….what He says trumps the bank, trumps the doctor, trumps what other people say. Then we start spreading our bad news….XYZ will never happen because…the doctor said, my employer said, so & so said.
Because of many decisions like this, this generation of Israelites didn’t get to see the land -Numbers 14 -
29 You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. 30 You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
The only ones from that generation who received God’s promise were the ones who believed Him in spite of the obstacles.
What did God tell you? What promise may you be forfeiting because you’re listening to the wrong person or not trusting Him through the obstacles?