Thursday, June 29, 2006

Should We Look Back?

rear-view-mirrorBible References: Numbers 13:25-33 to Numbers 14:1-9

The Background: The Israelites near the promised land and are just about to enter it. Moses sends 12 men to spy on the land. What they saw was indeed a prosperous land as promised by God but fortified with seemingly strong armies and fortresses.

The 12 men who spied on the promised land can be divided into 2 groups. One the group of two men (Caleb and Joshua) and the remaining ten. Both groups have their own observations on the promised land.

Observations that they shared:

1. They all liked the promise land.
2. Their desire for the promise land is the same.
3. Both groups were instructed by God on what to do.
4. All of them know that God is a powerful having witnessed what happened during the Exodus.

The differences between the two groups:

1. Joshua & Caleb: Positive Report
the other 10 men: Negative

The other 10 men were fearful of the giants Anaks or the group to which Goliath belonged to which usually stand over 7ft tall. They were also afraid of the notorious Amalekites who terrorized the Israelites repeatedly.

2. Joshua and Caleb know who God truly is. The others only have head knowledge of God.

Isn't this surprising? All 12 witnessed the plagues of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea and still have different levels of confidence in God? The 10 fear the might of their enemies but yet they have seen how mighty God can be!

But isn't this true in our Christian lives as well. During challenging times, we fear problems or even made up ones and worry although we have seen God worked in our lives in amazing ways before!

3. The 10 men want to go back to Egypt!

This is typical of Israelite sentiment during the their time at the desert. Every problem and every hardship that God uses to test their faith, they want to go back to Egypt. Egypt was a country were they lived as slaves!

Christians like us sometimes specially question our faith and secretly in our hearts want to go back to the way we were when we were bondaged in sin. It is utterly foolish right but it seems to be in our nature too just like the Israelites. Just like them we have been freed by ourl bondage to sin when we accepted Christ and made our decision to follow Him! (Do you want to be free as well? Here's how!)

One big lesson for us here is that we cannot grow in our faith in God if we keep on looking back. You cannot keep on looking at your rear view mirror as you drive! This is hard to do but if we pray to God honestly that we want to leave the past behind, He will help us.

In life's problems, a person who thinks he will lose the struggle will indeed suffer defeat. Sports teams and personalities know that once you step up to the competition arena, your mind should be conditioned to win. Think that you will lose and you will surely get the raw end of the score according to them.

How true for a person who follows God. If we constantly seek God's protection amidst challenges and claim the victory for Him then the "W" will surely be ours!

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