Term 1 – Week 1
Big Idea – Joshua and Caleb trusted God, when no one else did, to give His people the promised land
Numbers 13 & 14
- Be inspired by the trust of Joshua and Caleb in God’s promises
- Understand the link for us to trust God as we wait for the promised Kingdom
- See the warning for those who don’t trust God.
- Belief – even when it is hard to do so, believing that God always keeps his promises to his people.
- Behaviour – living in faith and following God’s commands even when others around don’t trust God and so don’t follow God’s commands.
Before God rescued his people from slavery in Egypt, He promised to bring the Israelites back to the land He had given to Abraham so many years before (Ex 3:8). From Egypt, the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and travelled toward Mount Sinai. When they were hungry and thirsty, God provided food and water (Ex. 16-17). Israel spent one year at Mount Sinai, where Moses received God’s law, including the Ten Commandments.
Over and over the Israelites rebelled against God and forgot what he had done, so Moses interceded and God pardoned them. This lesson is such an example. Moses, following God’s commands, sends scouts ahead into the promised land of Canaan for 40 days. They returned with fruit to prove the abundance of the land and gave their report. The scouts reported on the strength of the inhabitants with fortified cities. Aside from Caleb and Joshua, the scouts recommended that they not enter the land for fear of the people there.
The Israelites complained, as before, and foolishly wished to have perished in Egypt. They failed to trust God despite his miraculous protection and provision up to this point. So God sent them back into the wilderness for 40 years for their failure, promising that only Caleb and Joshua would live to see the promised land.
Hebrews 3-4 makes an explicit reference to this event and calls Christians to heed the warning of failing to be obedient and to trust God’s promises, as the Israelites had done. We can therefore liken the land the Israelites were promised to enter with the land of ‘rest’ we are promised in eternity through Jesus Christ. Despite our disobedience, Jesus trusted God perfectly, even to the cross, and so through faith in Jesus we are brought into the promised land of God.
We may face similar pressure as Joshua and Caleb did in trusting God – surrounded by pressure to give up, and facing very difficult circumstances. But Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us:
‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight’
God’s people in God’s place – Awesome Cutlery
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