Accept God’s Guidance

KEY VERSE: “If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” —Numbers 14:8,9

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Numbers 13: 25-28, 30, 31

AFTER SPYING OUT the land of Canaan, Joshua and Caleb in their minority report gave evidence of great faith in the ability of the God of Israel to help them conquer the land, and they recommended that the Israelites cross over Jordan, trusting the Lord to make good his promise to them. But the Israelites preferred to heed the unfavorable majority report. Indeed, “all the congregation bade stone them with stones.”—Num. 14:10

The Lord was greatly displeased with this lack of faith on the part of his people, especially since they indicated that the Lord had led them into the land merely to let them die there by the sword and allow their wives and children to be a prey to the Canaanites. So he said to Moses, “How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them?”—Num. 14:11

Caleb and Joshua are presented to us as men of faith in the Lord, courageously confident of his ability to make good all his gracious promises to his people. The Bible gives little additional information concerning Caleb except to confirm the fact that he did enter the Promised Land, was given his portion of it, and fought valiantly to wrest it from the hands of Israel’s enemies. (Josh 14:6-15) Moses gave a wonderful testimony concerning Caleb, saying that he had “wholly followed the Lord.”—Josh. 14:9; Deut. 1:36

Joshua, on the other hand, likewise faithful to the Lord, possessed natural talents which could be used in the service of his people; so the Lord commissioned Moses to appoint Joshua to be his successor as leader of the nation. The record of this is found in Numbers 27:18-20, and reads: “The Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay thine hand upon him and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honor upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.”

These two men were good examples of a special class of faithful people through whom God had worked in those ancient times. While the whole nation of Israel was called and chosen by God, only the few of that class—the Ancient Worthies—made their ‘calling and election’ sure to the position designed for them in the divine plan. They did this by their faith. It was a faith that was demonstrated by their obedience under the most trying circumstances. Because they thus proved their worthiness by their heart intentions, they will, in the resurrection, be given perfect human bodies through which they will be able to express their praises to God, and serve him perfectly as the “princes in all the earth.”—Ps. 45:16

The quality of faith is unchanged from age to age in the plan of God. It was true in the past and is true now that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6) No one can enjoy God’s friendship without having faith in him. Those who are able to exercise faith are rewarded with whatever blessings the Lord may be pleased to dispense.

Paul wrote, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:1) Caleb and Joshua, and all the Ancient Worthies, had peace in the sense that they were God’s ‘friends’. Their faith in God’s promises removed fear and anxiety from their hearts. But to have the ‘peace with God’ referred to by the apostle, implies separation from the condemned and dying family of Adam. It implies that peace with God is the heritage of those who belong to the family of God. And now, through faith in Christ—which is demonstrated by full consecration—we may enjoy this rich reward of faith. It is also a reward of receiving the promise of a place in Christ’s Messianic kingdom as spiritual rulers with him.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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