At the Crossroads (Salvation) by Callin
Callin talked about how the New Testament is the Old Testament contained, and the Old Testament is the New Testament contained. The New Testament epistles give us principles to live by and a declaration of how to deal with anything we encounter in the world. The Old Testament gives us action packed stories that teach and illustrate the New Testament principles.
In Ephesians we are taught to put on the whole armor of God. The Old Testament shows us people who met the adversary in the flesh and did not put on the armor, also those who fought God’s way.
Numbers 13:1-3 (Callin used the NIV text for his teaching) The LORD said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” So at the LORD’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites.
Then Numbers 13 lists the people from the 12 tribes of Israel, the heads of the tribes. Moses instructed each tribe to send one of it’s leaders to investigate the promised land. Years before this incident, God had called Abraham and gave Abraham and his descendants the land. Now the nation Israel was at a crossroads where they could take a hold of the promise, of the land filled with milk and honey.
In our lives, we too find ourselves at the CROSSROADS.
The name Joshua – means Salvation
The root of this name means: The Lord is Salvation. Salvation is promised to us but we are not to take it for granted unless we understand what salvation is. So often we use it as a cliché, but salvation is validated through behavior and actions of those who are saved.
Joshua is a type and figure of the New Testament. Jesus empowers us, anoints us with power and authority. We are called to enter our “promised lands.” In the Old Testament we see that not all went into the land to subdue it. They made it to the boundary of the Promised Land, but did not take the promise. They did not control their thoughts and fears. Disbelief of God’s promise caused them to reject His promise.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
We need to diligently seek God, and realize in our lives on earth there will always be an adversary. The Israelites faced many “ITES”. The enemy was in the earth and was robbing the Children of Israel of their promise. We are not to give place to the devil through worry, fear, anger, or reacting, functioning and living in the flesh. Walk in the power and authority that God gives us.
Have the faith of Abraham. We are to believe in spite of the fact that we do not see it, believe in spite of the odds.
The Israelites had evidence of the Promised Land’s provision.
Numbers 13:16-25 These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. (Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.) When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees on it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.) So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) When they reached the Valley of Eshcol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. That place was called the Valley of Eshcol because of the cluster of cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land grapes the Israelites cut off there.
Forty days they explored and they came back with proof that there was enough for the comfort of the people. This showed the validity of what was prophesied, and proved God’s Word. What happened next determined whether the people succeeded or failed.
Numbers 13:26-33 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
The people responded with fear and divisive comments. This lack of faith in God speaks volumes into our character and the character of the Israelites. We need to pray that we do not fall into the rebellion that Israel exhibited, pray that our hearts do not get hardened. Just like the Israelites, we have all seen miraculous things and yet we revert back to lack of faith and disbelief when faced with a challenge or trial. They said in the above passage that the land devoured the people living in it, for the people were of great size and we were like grasshoppers in our own eyes. Yet, they forgot that in God’s eyes the problem was not huge, they had seen the miracles God had already performed, and did not believe that God could bring them safely in the land.
Callin reminded us that faith without works is dead, and that God permits the tests in our lives to help us achieve growth and maturity. These challenges help our character to develop so that we are prepared to handle His blessing. We are to be obedient to God’s will. Where we miss it is when we focus on our problem and not on God.
In the above passage they could have had a good report – the land produced enormous fruit, taking two people to carry a bunch of grapes! The people stopped, took their eyes off of the promise and looked at the enemies, the Nephalim. They believed the negative report and began to act in doubt, unbelief and fear. We need to start believing what God says about the situation, not our circumstances.
Amos 2:9 “I destroyed the Amorite before them, though he was tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks. I destroyed his fruit above and his roots below. “
God had a perfect plan, and would have destroyed the enemy before the Israelites, but they chose to believe the evidence of their eyes instead of the truth of God. God kept the people in the promised land, letting the people know that he wanted the people to take land that was cultivated and that the residents of the land kept the wild animals out. It was to protect the land for the people that the nephalim were permitted to stay.
Jesus wondered if He would find faith in the world when He came again. God is just and until the right time, He will not usurp satan’s authority on the earth. We need to choose whom we will believe, God or satan. If we choose satan we permit him to have authority in our lives, rather than speaking the truth of God to our circumstances.
When the Israelites finally do get into the promised land, they don’t even have to fight for the land – God sent swarms of bees. God delights in taking the unfathomly impossible and showing His glory.
1 Corinthians 10:1-4 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.
They feared dying by going into the promised land, yet their bones were scattered all over the desert for only two made it into the promised land – Joshua and Caleb, the rest died in the wilderness. They did not repent. Jesus is in the Old Testament, even though there is no specific mention of Jesus Christ. The people were led by a pillar of fire and a cloud – and we have seen in the New Testament Jesus coming in the clouds and his feet as pillars of fire.
We need to confess and repent of our doubts and unbelief, and make sure to forgive our brother 70 X 7.
Numbers 14:26-28 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say:
Notice, the people were constantly grumbling against God whenever they faced a challenge – telling Moses why had he brought them in the wilderness, so that they could die. Well they kept saying that and finally God tells them they will have what they said, and they did die in the wilderness.
We need to watch what words come out of our mouths, and our thoughts. So often we speak words out of habit, not thinking about what we say, but we often find that we have what we say. We want to be speaking the truth of God, not our circumstances. God has prosperity and advantages to offer us, yet we walk off in the pattern that we are familiar with, instead of stepping into the Promised land that He has for us. We spend time grumbling and complaining and whining.
Romans 14:23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
Whatever we do that is not of faith is sin.
I am going to continue this Bible study tomorrow, for there is a lot more and I do not want to make this post too huge.
Praying your day is blessed.
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