Nun’s son Joshua and Jephunneh’s son Caleb, who had accompanied the others who also had explored the land, tore their clothes and attempted to reason with the entire congregation of Israel. They told them, “The land that we went through and explored is very, very good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he’ll bring us into this land and give it to us. It flows with milk and honey. However, don’t rebel against the LORD or be afraid of the people who live in the land, because we’ll gobble them right up. Their defenses will collapse, because the LORD is with us. You are not to be afraid of them.” But the entire congregation was talking about stoning them to death.
Suddenly, the glory of the LORD appeared at the Tent of Meeting to all of the Israelis. “How long will this people keep on spurning me and refusing to trust me, despite all the miracles that I’ve done among them?” the LORD asked Moses. (Numbers 14)
Joshua and Caleb had faith that God would protect them because THEY HAD SEEN IT BEFORE. They had experienced God’s goodness, remembered it and learned to trust in it. The congregation looked at the situation, with a warped perspective of fear and mistrust. Lack of trust was as rebellion. They had forgotten all that God had done for them. Like the people in the wilderness, it is so easy to let fear and anxiety erase our memory of the wonderful things that God has done for us, too. May God help us to focus on His goodness, His faithfulness to fulfill His promises, and as we remember to give thanks. As the Psalmist writes in Psalm 103:
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.