Joshua …and Caleb…said to the entire Israelite assembly,…”do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid…” Numbers 14: 6,9 NIV
Joshua and Caleb and some other Israelites had been sent to scout out the promised land of Canaan. What Joshua and Caleb saw was that it was a fertile land that offered much opportunity. What the other spies saw were large, strong people who looked invincible. When the spies reported back to the assembly of Israelites, the people listened to the frightening reports and were so upset with Joshua and Caleb suggesting that they should enter the land they threatened to stone them. The truth can be hard to stomach. They didn’t want to face up to their distrust of God and their fears of the battle to come. To hear Joshua and Caleb say that it was possible to enter Canaan was too great a challenge to them.
It happens to us, too. We don’t want to admit to our fears and are often aggressive to those who challenge our thinking or our faith in God’s promises. How many Christians cower before death? And yet that is our entry into the everlasting land of Canaan. Or how many Christians get angry if it is suggested that they show kindness and forgiveness to someone who has hurt them. God’s message is meant to be taking down deep into our being, to be expressed by our love of God and others. No amount of Bible knowledge will make up for a rebellious, unfaithful heart.