Summary: Have the vision and faith as Joshua and Caleb in taking the Promised Land!
Are you a Visionary or a Vision Vandal?
The passage in a nutshell:
Numbers 13:1-16: Choosing of one member of each of the twelve tribes to go and spy out the Promised Land.
Numbers 13:17-20: A commissioning of the twelve.
Numbers 13:21-25: 40 days of spying.
Numbers 13:26-33: Debriefing. A report as to what they saw. The conversation might have gone something like this in today‘s world:
Moses: “Tell us what you saw.”
Joshua: “Whoa dude. I’m stoked. That land is exactly as God said it would be, flowing with milk and honey. There are obstacles, but we can do it!
One of the other ten: “But what about the walls? What about the giants? What about the elements? Forget about it!”
Caleb: “Bonk! Bonk! God said that the land would be ours, and I believe Him. Let us go and seize it with His blessings!”
Numbers 14:1-4: Woe is me. We’re going to die. We should have stayed in Egypt!
Numbers 14:5-9: Wait! We can do this because God said we could!
Numbers 14:10-12: God is ready to destroy His people.
Numbers 14:13-19: Moses pleads for God’s mercy for His people.
Numbers 14:20-35: God spares the lives of the people, but vows to keep their generation from possessing the Promised Land.
Numbers 14:36-38: God removes the obstacles - the ten who said forget about it.
Numbers 14:39-end: Too little too late. God says, “forget about it.”
I. Our Perspectives
A. Joshua and Caleb = Visionaries:
1. Walls? No problem!
2. Giants? No problem! Remember David and Goliath?
3. Possible? No problem! Why? They saw a God sized task through God’s eyes. They believed that what God promised He would do, He would do! They believed that God is bigger than any obstacles that stood between them and the land He had promised. God doesn’t call us to failure and defeat!
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
B. The other 10 = Vision Vandals:
1. Walls? Insurmountable!
2. Giants? Too big and too strong?
3. Possible? Forget about it! Why? They saw a God sized tasked through their own eyes. They couldn’t see themselves having the ability to accomplish what God called them to do. They saw that they were not capable of scaling the walls, bringing down the giants, and claiming the land. They were right. They couldn’t! At least, not without God. With God, however, they could definitely do it!
C. You and I?:
1. How do we view the walls in our lives?
2. How do we size up the giants that we battle?
3. Do we believe God’s promises? Tony Evans said, “God can do more with less who are dependant on Him than He can with more who are dependant on themselves.”
II. Our reactions:
1. Reported to Moses and the people with enthusiasm! God was right, it does flow with milk and honey!
2. Reported to Moses and the people the possibilities. We can do this. No sweat!
3. Reported to Moses and the people a reminder of the promise of God and His faithfulness to the people.
B. Vision Vandals:
1. Reported to Moses and the people with discouragement.
2. Reported to Moses and the people the impossibilities. The walls, the people, the elements? Forget about it!
3. Reported to Moses and the people a reminder of how much better it was back in Egypt.
C. You and I:
1. Is our response to a vision or idea optimistic or pessimistic? Do we seek to encourage them to pursue their God given vision or do we seek to squelch their enthusiasm?
2. Is our response filled with why the vision or idea is possible or impossible? In other words, do we see it through God’s eyes or our own?
3. Do we prefer to stay in the comfort zone of tradition or move in the will of God? Do we enjoy going with the flow or swimming upstream? Thomas Trask, superintendent of the Assemblies of God shared this: There was a young pastor of a new Church of who were meeting under an overpass. He decided that it was time to find a building. He located one that was on the market for $250,000. When asked how a Church his size could afford to buy this, the young pastor said it wouldn’t be a problem. He was going to ask the owner to give it to them. Guess what! He got the building and even some extra money to fix it up. Why? Because he believed that God would enable him to accomplish the vision that God had given.
III: Our rewards:
A. Joshua and Caleb would be rewarded for their faithfulness by possessing the Promised Land. Moses would have, but he messed up later.