#192: Why Don’t Some People Step Into the Promise of God?

Have you ever heard or read the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt after 400 years of slavery?

Promise, Fear

God miraculously protected them from the Egyptian army and led them toward the Promised Land. God appeared to them as a cloud during the day and a tower of fire at night so they knew He was always with them.

God led them right up to the edge of the Promised Land. Then he told Moses to send some men into the Promised Land. They were to scout it out so they could see first-hand how wonderful this land He promised to give them was.

The twelve scouts went into the land and returned with a report saying it was indeed a beautiful land flowing with milk and honey. But, said ten of the scouts, the people who live there are powerful and they live in fortified cities. We better not go.

Even though two of the scouts, Caleb and Joshua, said they should go in and take the land, the people listened to the ten scouts who said no, don’t go.

As a result of the people’s rebellion, God had the Israelites wander around in the desert for forty years until the next generation was old enough to go up and take the land.

Why is it that some of the scouts were ready to step into God’s promise while others were not? They had all seen the same miracles along the way. They had all seen God lead them in the cloud and the fire. Yet, 10 of 12 scouts came back with a negative report that swayed the entire Israelite population.

The Israelites were delivered from slavery but they never made it to freedom in the Promised Land.

Sadly, many Christians today are like the Israelites God led out of Egypt; they have been delivered from slavery but have yet to fully experience the freedom of a life devoted to Christ. They are, in a sense, still wandering in the desert.

Why Do Some Say “Go”, and Some Say “No” to the Promise of God?

Why is it that Caleb and Joshua said go, and ten scouts said no?

I think there are two primary reasons:

  • They were afraid. They saw the size of the people and their fortified cities and they were afraid. They described themselves as mere insects (grasshoppers), incapable of conquering these giants. They had been slaves for 400 years and had only been free for a few weeks. Their lack of confidence in themselves made them afraid.
  • They lacked faith. They saw the obstacles as being far greater than the prize. They saw their enemy’s strength and assumed they were too weak to conquer them. Despite God’s saving them out of Egypt, all the miracles, and His presence day and night the people were afraid because they lacked faith

Caleb and Joshua said “go” because their faith in God was bigger than any fear they might have had. They laid hold of God’s promise by faith. They said, in effect, “if God promised it, we can do it.”

Why is it today that some Christians hear God’s call and go, while others say no? The same two reasons apply to those who say “no” today; fear and a lack of faith in God’s promises.

The same reasons apply for those who say “go”; their faith in God is bigger than any fear they might have. When your faith in God is bigger than your fears you can say with confidence, “If God is for us who can be against us” (Romans 8:31b)?

Join the Conversation

As always questions and comments are welcome. Have there been times in your life when God said go and you said no? What happened?

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Category: Personal Development | Dependence on God


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  • John says:

    Fear is such a crippling thing. Not to mention crisis of faith. Especially when we witness such despair, hardship and sadness in the world. I think it’s important to always put things in perspective. We tend to overlook the tremendous beauty in the world. All the small acts of kindness that happen every day. They don’t make the news, but they reflect a kind of grace that renews the spirit and restores one’s faith.

    • Ron says:

      So true about perspective. We do tend to focus on the one bad thing and miss all the grand and wonderous things that surround us!