By Toni Ford
Lately I have been reading in the Book of Numbers, and I must say that I have fallen in love with this book of the Bible all over again.
Found in the fifth word of the Book of Numbers, ‘Bamidbar’ is a Hebrew word meaning “in the desert.” The Book of Numbers tells us about the encounters of the children of Israel as they journeyed through the desert. Although the Israelites complained and rebelled time and time again, we see over and over the faithfulness of God as He continued to guide, sustain and deliver His children, all the while keeping the covenant He made to Abraham years ago to protect His people and lead them to the Promised Land.
Moses was chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, through the wilderness and to the Promised Land, a journey that took 40 years, primarily because of the rebellion and disobedience of the people. History scholars tell us there were over two million people that Moses led through the desert. Every day, the people collected their food the same way, ate the same food, setting up and took down camp the same way, and yet there were a select handful of people that viewed their day-to-day situation different from the other millions of Israelites.
In chapters 13 and 14 in the Book of Numbers, we see several “same scene but different perspectives” examples. These examples reminded me of what we are facing today as we continue to walk through this pandemic and as our world begins the process of “opening” back up. There are so many unknowns, and this pandemic has impacted the entire world in one way or another so that it is probably safe to say that everyone has been impacted in some way over the past six weeks. The question then becomes, “How will I choose to view my situation?” We see where the Israelites asked some of the same questions.
What does the other side look like? In Numbers 13:18-20, we find where Moses sent out 12 men to explore and survey the Promise Land and report back what they had discovered. Moses gave the men specific instructions on what to look and even asked them to bring back samples of the crops. Neither Moses, these 12 men or the entire camp of Israelites knew what to expect or what these 12 men would find, but one thing they did know was the promise God had made to them and their nation. Moses received his instructions firsthand from the Lord, so he knew it was time to move and go forward. We might not know what “opening” up our state, our nation and our world looks like, but we all have the same opportunity in choosing our perspective. We can choose to let fear paralyze us or we can choose to move forward, all the while trusting on the promises of our God.
What do we do with the obstacles we will face? When the 12 men returned and reported to Moses and the people all they had discovered, only two of the 12 returned with a positive report. Remember that all 12 men had seen the exact same things in both the obstacles and the blessings, but only two returned with a report that chose to view the blessings over the obstacles. As the 10 men were shouting doom and gloom to the people of Israel, Caleb and Joshua stepped up and said, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us. They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” (Numbers 14: 7-9)
This would be my encouragement to each of us, in that we would remember who our God is. He is greater than any pandemic, He is greater than any science and He is greater than any economy!
Our God will bring us safely through this pandemic, but our responsibility comes in our perspective and how we choose to view this situation!
Lord, may we choose today to see You and not see only what is in front of us with our natural eyes. Thank you again for being greater than all this! Thank you for your love for us and that you are working all the time on our behalf! We do pray that all the plans of the enemy would be destroyed and that this pandemic would be eradicated in the name of Jesus! We love You!
If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!