When God calls us to a task that’s bigger than our abilities, Believers typically respond in one of two ways.
1) IF I choose to do it, the circumstances will have to be right and everything must look good on paper. Otherwise, I CANNOT!
2) WHEN I do it, I will carefully plan my strategy so as to do it in the most effective & efficient manner while seeking the Lord along the way.
In Num. 13 God had already promised Canaan to the children of Israel, so their response to the spies’ reports should have been the 2nd option. Notice the contrast of the two reports:
I. The majority (10 spies) - We can’t!!
1. The people are too strong!
V28-29 “Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great:”and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.”
2. The circumstances are too great!
“The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.”
3. We are too small!
V32-33 “And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 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.”
II. The Minority (Caleb and Oshea or Joshua)
1. We CAN!
V30 “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”
2. God WILL!
V1-2a “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel:”
LESSON - The purpose of the spies’s task was twofold. First, they were to report that the land was everything that God had promised. Secondly, they were to report on the conditions of the land so that an effective & efficient plan of action could be devised. Why? Because GOD HAD ALREADY GIVEN THEM THE LAND! When making a decision, look to the Lord instead of your circumstances. If after spending time with the Lord in His word and God allows His Holy Spirit to confirm your course of action with peace, you should move forward with confidence. Even if the task seems too BIG, remember you can because GOD WILL!!