Summary: Moses sends out the 12 spies into Canaan. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(1). Their Opportunity - Special.
(2). Their Outlook - Small.
(3). Their Opposition.- Strong
(4). Their Omnipotence.- Sovereign
(5). Their Outcome.- Sad.
• The bishop’s car ran out of petrol,
• His wife, who was a passenger remembered seeing a garage half a mile back down the road.
• He got out the car and started to search the boot of the car for a container,
• But the only one he could find was his baby grandson’s potty - so that had to do!
• He trudged to the petrol station,
• Then carefully carried it back with a full container of petrol.
• And started to carefully pour the contents from the potty into the petrol tank.
• Driving by was the leader of a new independent church,
• Recognised a fellow Christian in need and stopped his car to offer-help.
• As he approached he saw the bishop pouring the contents of the potty into the tank.
• The man-gasped and said:
• ’If I’d known they had faith like that in the Church of England I’d never have left!’
Question: What is faith?
• Faith is simply taking God at his word!
• And there is nothing new about it.
• Throughout all generations God has deliberately withheld the evidence of things visible;
• So that people would have to trust in his promise and believe him!
Now There are two sides to faith
• Saving faith.
• Experimental faith.
• Saving faith is primary and fits us for heaven.
• Experimental faith is secondary and fits us for earth.
• Saving faith is intangible (it cannot be measured).
• Experimental faith is tangible (it produces results that can be tested).
• But remember the order:
• Saving faith needs to come first.
SAVING FAITH IS A PERSUASION OF THE HEART & MIND;
• It occurs when a person understands that they cannot save themselves;
• That through the death & resurrection of Jesus Christ;
• He has done all that is needed to secure our salvation
• Saving faith is therefore passive;
• It requires nothing but belief and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
• And just like when we are offered a gift – we receive it or reject it!
EXPERIMENTAL FAITH LIES IN THE WILL:
• It is active;
• It too focuses on Jesus and is inspired into activity.
• We seek to do what he has told us to do!
• And whenever a Christian exercises faith:
• They are giving evidence to the world;
• That God can be trusted and that he keeps his word;
• We will see this morning that both Joshua & Caleb had faith,
• While the rest of the nation, sadly did not!
• Only these 2 men out of a population of about 2 million people;
• Exercised real faith!
• We pick-up the story of Moses when Moses and the Hebrew people:
• Are at Kadesh Barnea – this is the last oasis in the Negav desert;
• It is 66 miles south-west of the Dead Sea (today it is called Ain Qudeist).
• It is just before Canaan – the Promised Land.
• It has taken them one year, one month and one week, since leaving Egypt.
• To arrive at this point.
• And they now have the opportunity that they have longed for, for so-long;
• A chance to occupy the land that had been promised to their forefathers.
• There it was right in front of them! So close they could smell it and almost touch it!
• This was their moment in history! This was their time!
• All they need to do was to seize the opportunity!
Note: verse 1:
• God tells them to send out 12 spies. One from each of the 12 tribes of Israel.
• In military terms they are going to do a recognisance.
• They are to check out the area, to see what is there,
• So that they might know how best to plan out the invasion as they claim their land.
As a wise leader Moses needs to know certain information as he plans his next move:
• Verse 18-19: He wants to know what the land is like.
• Is the soil fertile or poor, are their trees in the land or not.
• He even requests that they bring some of the fruit back for him to taste and enjoy.
• He wants to know if the people who live there are many or few.
• Are they weak or strong?
• Do they dwell in tents or in fortified cities?
• Verses 21-23: tells us where they went exploring:
• Verse 25 tells us that, their exploring lasted for forty days.