Thursday, March 3, 2011

March 3 - Numbers 13:27, 28, 31

"We came to the land to which you sent us;
it flows with milk and honey ...
Yet the people who live in the land are strong,
and the towns are fortified and very large ...
We are not able to go up against this people,
for they are stronger than we."
Numbers 13:27,28,31
Which direction do you tend to look in?
In Numbers 11, the people of Israel looked backward in nostalgia: "5 We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6 but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at."
In Numbers 13, they looked forward in fear, shying away from entering the promised land because the spies said, "we are not able to go up against this people for they are stronger than us."
In both cases, they -- like many of us -- failed to look to the blessings of the present. Indeed, they failed to acknowledged
  • God's daily provision (manna),
  • God's daily leading (remember the cloud that led them day and night in chapter 9),
  • God's gracious promise (that he would return them to the land promised to Abraham), and
  • God's omnipotent power (in their recent memory he'd parted the Red Sea).
I know from my own life that I get into trouble whenever I look backward with either a longing nostalgia (which takes my eyes off the blessings of today) or a paralyzing guilt (which makes me forget God's promise to forgive).
I also get into trouble when I stare too far into the future. Why? Because the unknowns can easily swamp me with fear. Either that or sadness can swamp me as I worry about the blessings I'll be missing from today. I can remember, for example, wishing that time would slow down and my kids wouldn't grow up.
But here's the point. The God who provides for me today ... and leads me today ... and promises me a hope and a future ... and reigns always with his power ... this God will take care of all my tomorrows!
And what I long for is the true promised land. Not here on earth, but up in heaven. And that's a promise God's power and provision holds eternally secure.
In Christ's Love,
a guy who's seizing the day 

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