“Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised.” (Numbers 14:30-31 NKJV)
God has given us an incredible power—the power of choice. We have within our power the choice between heaven and hell. We can receive Jesus and have life or reject Jesus and have judgment, but all of us have a choice. Neither are we coerced to follow Christ. We cannot be forced to love Him, but we must make a choice. If we say, “I will not choose,” we have decided to oppose Christ for Jesus said that if we are not with Him we are against Him.
Twelve key leaders exercised this awesome power in Numbers 13-14. They had been deputized to enter the Promised Land—an advance team to do reconnaissance and report back. Ten of them chose the way of unbelief—to bring an evil report and melt the hearts of the people. Two of them chose the way of faith—to bring a positive declaration that God would fulfill His promise.
The majority report prevailed. The choice to turn back from God’s will and brush aside the opportunity for blessing was made. The pleas of Joshua and Caleb to trust God and move ahead were drowned out by the negativism. This powerful choice was catastrophic. It not only impacted ten men and their families, but an entire generation. None of the adults who witnessed the crossing of the Red Sea would ever cross the Jordan River. They would die in the desert. Only two notable exceptions, Joshua and Caleb, would make it in for the powerful choice they made to do right.
Their choice would make a dramatic difference also. The young generation would come into the land flowing with milk and honey. They would experience the bounty and blessing of God despite the failure of their fathers.
What lessons are here for us? The first and primary lesson is that we can choose to obey God or reject His will. The second is that the choice has broad implications not just for us but also for others. If we disobey the Lord, we will suffer and we will drag down others with us, but if we follow Him we will be blessed and our lives will become a channel of blessing through which God’s grace can flow into the lives of others.
Your choices will determine your direction and define the impact of your life. Choose wisely!
Dennis Thurman, AMS