The account of Joshua and Caleb in Numbers 14:6-9 has been a source of inspiration for many. We long to find courage to stand for the right in the face of fierce opposition. We long to rise to the occasion and show that we mean business for God.
The support and opposition from the outside is at times so much easier to identify, but on closer observation of the story, what if the varied traits displayed by the 12 spies (Numbers 13:17-33) are possessed at times by one individual?
This I believe occurs, because Paul spoke about the battle he experienced within himself (Romans 7:23-24). When Paul wrestled with his inner man, at that point he was not united within himself. With this understanding I will use the account of the spies as a representation of the internal battle that we may face.
With the understanding that light travels faster than sound, with thunder and lightning, we would see the lightning flash before we hear the sound of the thunder. Similarly, we need to let the light from God’s Word be at the forefront of our minds and inform our thinking, before we take action. So that when we hear the sentiments of the 10 doubting spies trying to echo in our minds, God’s Word, which ‘is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path’ (Psalm 119:105 KJV), would be established in our hearts and our minds, to nullify the effects of the negative sentiments.
Joshua and Caleb represent the desire to trust and obey God, and to live a life of faith. The 10 spies on the other hand represent the noises or voices that we hear that tries to erode our faith; threatening to tempt us to even start to question who we are and where we are going.
Sadly, the contrast between the opposing attitudes is not always obvious at the beginning. When the 12 spies were sent out, they went out together, so there was no visible difference. They were leaders (Numbers 13:3). They were all exposed to the same things, but when the time of reckoning came, or using the saying ‘when the rubber hit the road’, the true sentiments were shared. In many ways as time unfolded it was clear that the 10 spies were ‘on one side of the fence’ and the 2 spies were ‘on the other side’.
Never should we underestimate the magnitude of the battle/war. Instead, understanding what we are facing will cause us to run even harder to God for His help, as we realize that the only way for us to make it is to depend on God to remove anything in us that opposes His will. So in complete surrender we let God do His work in us.
Join me in the coming blog posts, as we look at the characteristics that can cause inner conflict and as we explore how we can transition, with God’s help, to let God’s light inform and enlighten us; so that we will stand as internally united individuals to successfully face the situations that confront us however challenging they may be.
The next blog post in this series will be ‘The Account of the 12 Spies.’