A New Encounter
The Israelites had been delivered from Egypt, and they came, in short order, to the point of entry for the land of Canaan, the Promised Land that ultimately would become the nation of Israel. But instead of marching in, they sent twelve men to spy out the land. Joshua and Caleb went in along with the ten other spies, and they returned with a majority report and a minority report.
The majority said, in effect, “There’s no way we should go in there. The people are really big. In fact, we were like grasshoppers in their sight.”
Joshua and Caleb, however, came back with the minority report: “‘Let’s go at once to take the land,’ [Caleb] said. ‘We can certainly conquer it!’” (Numbers 13:30 NLT).
The people of Israel said no to Joshua and Caleb. They were filled with unbelief and didn’t want to go. That unbelief cost them forty years of needless wilderness wandering.
Unbelief says, “Let’s stay back where it’s safe.”
In contrast, faith says, “Let’s go forward, where God is working.”
The problem is they didn’t go forward. Instead, they went around in circles while God was weeding out all the doubters. Forty years passed, and the older generation was gone. There was an all-new generation whose only existence had been in the wilderness. They had heard the stories about the Red Sea crossing, but they needed their own encounter with the Lord. That is what every generation needs.
More than forty years ago we had the Jesus Movement, and an entire generation was impacted. But we are all grandparents now. We’re praying for another Jesus Movement for our young people today so they can encounter God in their own way and see the Lord work. That is what we should be praying for today.
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