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Daily Devotional | Failure at the Border

Devotions

When the chips are down and you need to make a decision, who do you go to for advice? Hopefully, it’s a wise friend or family member whose words are rooted in Scripture and faith. But sometimes we listen to people speaking from peer pressure, cultural trends, or just plain foolishness.

Camped at the border of the Promised Land, on the verge of claiming everything God had promised, the people of Israel chose to listen to the fearful majority report of ten spies rather than the faith-filled minority report of Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 13). Both groups agreed that the land was beautiful and fruitful, but they were alarmed and frightened by the fortified cities and fearsome warriors.

Joshua and Caleb, on the other hand, knew that the Lord would win the victory. Their attitude was, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31). Moses and Aaron supported their report (Num. 14:5–9), but the people didn’t listen. There was more talk of going back to Egypt (vv. 2–4). The bottom line: Israel refused to trust the Lord and obey His command to enter the promised land. They forsook their covenant obligations. They failed to live up to their identity as His “treasured possession . . . a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:5–6).

God was righteously angry (Num. 14:10–12), but once again, Moses interceded, defending them not because they deserved it but on the basis of God’s name and glory (vv. 13–19). God mercifully granted Moses’ petition, but He enacted justice as well. With the exception of Joshua and Caleb, that generation would be condemned to wander and die in the wilderness (vv. 20–35).

>> How often have we stood at the border of God’s promised provision, and yet lacked the faith and courage to take the next step? Pray today that God will give you the courage needed to follow Him, and consider what next step He might be asking you to take.

Pray with Us

Lord God, some of us stand on the brink of a life-changing decision, and we are afraid. We ask for courage and faith to follow You into uncertainty or even danger. Put our trust into action.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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