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But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they [are] stronger than we." And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, "The land through which we have gone as spies [is] a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it [are] men of [great] stature. Numbers 13:31-32 NKJV

The Israelites were gathered at the border of the Promised Land, and Moses sent spies from each of the twelve tribes to explore the land. After the spies returned to the Israelites, they all agreed that it was a beautiful land where they could grow their crops, make their homes, and raise their families. But ten of them looked at the challenges of taking the land—specifically the giants who lived there—and began spreading fear among the people.

All this led to a rebellion among the people, who complained to Moses—and to God—that trying to take the land would surely lead to their deaths. In the end, God, angered at His people’s lack of faith, barred these unbelieving people from taking the Promised Land for another forty years (see Numbers 14).

If the people of Israel’s failure to enter the Promised Land can teach us anything, it’s this: God keeps His promises, and things that can keep us from receiving what He has for us are unbelieving hearts and eyes that focus on the “giants” before us instead of an even bigger God.

Prayer: Lord, may I always focus on You and not on the potential obstacles before me.