Sunday, February 23, 2020

Oppressors To Be Judged

Bobservations Column

By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

In Numbers 13 and 14, we read of the spies of the Lord, sent into the land to possess it. One spy from each of the 12 Tribes went in to search out the land and weigh the strength of those heathen peoples that occupied it. Among those heathens were Canaanites, Amalakites, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, and the descendants of Anak, who were known to be giants. Moses writes the testimony of the spies: “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33). For the Israelites to take the land from all these became a formidable task! It would be impossible without God’s help. 

But the Israelites did take the land, with God fighting the battles with them. God never failed them when they sought Him for victories over His enemies. 

Once in the land though, they became complacent in their relationship with God. They left some of the enemies of God alive, and incorporated them into Jewish culture, but those survivors brought heathen practices into Israel. Was it the mercy of the Israelites? Was it due to compassion? Was it foolish? Probably “yes” to these questions, but these were in disobedience to God. 

In Luke 1:37 we read Gabriel’s words, “For nothing is impossible with God.” Looking at that verse conversely, we understand that we can do nothing without Him. Our own abilities will die with us, and our deeds are not lasting. 

Now one of those spies was ready to act presumptuously, and begin to attack the heathens in the land. His name was Caleb, and he was rebuked by all the other spies. Caleb was of the Tribe of Judah. 

When there is a task facing us, no matter how simple, or how difficult, we should never act presumptuously. Seek the Lord. Seek other Godly people for their opinion. Take heed to their encouragement, or be warned by their doubts. Take even their facial expressions to the Lord and seek Him in all things. Maybe it’s just an issue of timing, but let even the Lord’s timing glorify Him, in wisdom, in love, and in hope. For those in His will...

“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ ”
- Hebrews 13:5

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