Minority Report

Bible Reading: Numbers 12; 13; 14

The twelve spies explored the Promised Land. Though the land was "exceedingly good" (14:7), just as the Lord had promised, ten of the spies were afraid of the powerful inhabitants and brought back a bad report, spreading fear and rebellion among the Israelites. The people wouldn't listen to Joshua and Caleb, who encouraged them to trust the Lord to lead them and to give them the land he had promised. When God showed his displeasure in the Israelites' unbelief, contempt and grumbling, the people "mourned bitterly" (14:39) at his punishment. They changed their minds and presumptuously decided to go take the land, even though God had then revealed another plan for them. Though God's presence did not move from the camp, the people decided they could move forward on their own. Then their enemies "came down and attacked them and beat them down" (14:45).

Lord, develop in me the faith of Joshua and Caleb, who had "a different spirit" and "followed the Lord wholeheartedly" (14:24; 32:11). When you bring me to a fearful place in my life, help me to trust that you will lead me through it, to something that is "exceedingly good" (14:7). As long as you are with me, I have nothing to fear. You will protect me and fulfill your promises to me. May I speak boldly of your faithfulness, confidently believing that your strength and leadership are more powerful than any force or situation I may fear. May I spread courage, faith and hope, not fear and rebellion.

When I fail to believe and follow you, may I "mourn bitterly," not at your punishment, but at my disobedience. Give me the grace to humbly submit to your revised plan, instead of arrogantly trying to force my own way out of my own mess, without your approval or blessing. Give me the wisdom to discern when you are leading me to a new place, and when you want me to stand still and let you work in my present situation. Fill my heart with peace and confidence as I wait on you to tell me what to do, where to go, and what to say.