the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“We walk by faith, not by sight.”
Numbers 13:1 , Numbers 13:2 , Numbers 13:17-21 , Numbers 13:23-33
Numbers 13:1 , Numbers 13:2
Because of the hardness of the people’s hearts, the Lord permitted Moses to send spies. It had been far better for them to have believed the Word of the Lord, and to have followed the pillar of cloud. How foolish for them to have the land spied out which the Lord had long before spied out for them
Numbers 13:1 , Numbers 13:2
The best men should always be the most ready for works of daring and self-sacrifice. He is noblest in the church who is readiest to be the servant of all.
They brought home conclusive evidence of the fertility of the country. This cluster of Eshcol is typical of those holy comforts which saints enjoy even in this world, which are earnests of the joys hereafter.
Every day of spying cost Israel a year of wandering. Walking by sight is expensive work.
Thus, the report of sight was altogether discouraging. How much better would it have been for Israel had they walked by faith! Every circumstance which could discourage the heart these spies took careful note of, but they omitted, or misinterpreted many hopeful tokens. If we will leave the line of faith, we are sure to be sorely put to it.
But what of all this if they had but believed their God. Had he not smitten the Egyptians? Caleb and Joshua had faith, and hence they had courage, but unbelief is cowardly. O, for grace to trust in the Lord, and cease from all confidence in man, then shall our lives grow great and good before the Lord.
“Have faith in God.”
When children cry for nothing, they soon have good cause for crying, and such was the case in this instance; but do we never fall into the same sin ourselves?
Numbers 14:2 , Numbers 14:3
What a shameful slur they cast upon Jehovah when they asked whether he had brought them out to slay them, and truly we are equally guilty when we imagine that after leading us so far on the road to heaven, he will leave us to our enemies.
To avoid one evil they would rush into a worse. Without the cloud to guide them, or the manna to feed them, they talk of going back to Egypt. Unbelief is insanity.
The people ought far rather to have fallen on their faces before them; so is it often that the best men are worst spoken of.
The case had been well put, but stones were the reward of faithfulness.
God appeared for the defence of his servants. He who touches them, touches the apple of his eye.
This was a great offer, but how lovingly Moses declined it, thinking more of Israel’s good and of God’s glory than of his own honour.
Numbers 14:20 , Numbers 14:21
See the value of an Intercessor to stand in the gap. Blessed be God; if any man sin, we have an advocate.