Are you a promise doubter? Although most of us would claim to be people who believe God’s promises are true, in reality many of us doubt His promises on a daily basis. Will God really provide for my needs? Does God really love me even though I sin constantly? Is God truly here with me always?
This month’s Bible Reading will take us through the book of Numbers, the story of Israel’s 40 years of wandering in the desert on their way to the Promised Land. The reason for their having to wander is found in Numbers 13-14: the Israelites doubted God’s promise. God commanded Moses to send spies into Canaan “Which I am giving to the people of Israel (Numbers 13:2).” So we see that the purpose of the spying was not to determine whether Israel could conquer the land of Canaan; God is already promising them victory.
However, the spies return and report on the strength and size of the inhabitants of Canaan declaring, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are (Numbers 13:3b).” This causes the people to doubt God’s promises as well, groaning that it would be better for them to go back to Egypt than to surely be defeated by the Canaanites.
In response, God judged Israel for their lack of faith, and Israel was left wandering in the desert for 40 years until a generation rose up that would trust in God’s faithfulness to His promises.
Thankfully for us, God took no such chances with us and our salvation. He did not wait and see if we could accomplish our salvation: He knew we could not. Similarly, He did not send out a few test angels to see if they atone for our sins: He knew they could not either.
Rather God knew that there would only be one person who could ever faithfully trust in God’s promises and His provision for those promises: God’s own son. God sent Jesus to the cross to ensure that the Enemy would be defeated. He knew Jesus’ faith would not fail even in the presence of both great temptation and great opposition from the Enemy.
Therefore, as you and I encounter the various lies in our battles with the Enemy, may we not fall into the same trap as the Israelites in Numbers. May our focus not be on the size of the Enemy or his power or even our weaknesses. If it is, we will surely fail just like the Israelites.
Rather let our faith in the midst of these battles rest on the strength of our God and the surety of His promises. God will accomplish all that He has said He would, for nothing is too powerful for Him to overcome. Therefore, may we let God do His work in us to be Promise Trusters. For even when the Enemy is great, our God is greater.