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It Is As God Said!

"El Shaddai"

Have you ever been given a personal promise or direction from the Lord that all of a sudden looked like it was not going to come to pass? You held on to that promise and many times just the thought of it's completion brought a smile to your face. Then one day an adverse situation arose, from out of no where, and it challenged all that you ever believed would come to pass. These are the moments of our lives when we encounter the cross roads of faith.

In Exodus 3:8 God stated His intent and purpose in freeing the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt; "So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey..." There can be no mistaking the fact that God made His intentions for the nation of Israel quite clear: to lead them into the blessing!

After experiencing the power of the Lord first hand, the children of Israel were miraculously freed from the bonds of Egypt. In fact, Psalm 105:37 tells us: "He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes." When they were released, the Egyptians literally paid them to leave! They came out wealthy. But, even more impressive is the fact that there were none who were feeble among them. Many scholars believe there was anywhere from one and a half million to two million people that were released. The word "feeble" in the Hebrew speaks of physical frailty and weakness, ruin and decay. So, according to this verse, they were all healthy and strong! What a miracle as God began to reveal His covenant love to His people.

Miracle after miracle was shown to them as they left Egypt and crossed the Red Sea and pressed on to the promised land. Through all of this the Lord was showing Himself strong and revealing His love to a people who had been living with a slave mentality instead of a chosen of God, Covenant of God mentality for 400 years. Finally, upon coming to the promised land, Moses sends out 12 spies to go in and have a look around. Upon the spies return, the men bringing with them the rich abundant fruit of the land, and gave their report in the hearing of the congregation. Numbers 13:27 records their report: "We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is the fruit." In other words they were saying, "It is as God said."

So far so good. Now look at the next verse. "Nevertheless, (or BUT!!!) The people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and large; moreover (or - as if that is not enough) we saw the descendants of Anak (giants) there." Here they are, about to realize their "dream," the manifestation of the promise, the promise God gave, the promise God had brought to pass. The one that God insured by the parting of the Red Sea, and the supernatural slaughter of the Egyptian army! They were right there at the threshold of the realization of the promise and all of a sudden they begin to compare themselves, their lack of strength and their inability, to the size of the problem. In fact, in verse 33 it says; "We were like grasshoppers 'in our own' sight." I guess you could say they had a grasshopper mentality! Here's a truth that will keep you from this same mistake: Don't ever compare yourself to the size of the problem, instead compare the problem to the size of your God!!!

In the midst of all of the doom and gloom that was being spread throughout the assembly of the people, there was one man who stood up against all of this "unbelief" - Caleb. In fact, Caleb said in verse 30; "Let's go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it." I like Caleb, he didn't mince his words and he got right to the point. Notice his assertiveness based upon the promise of God; "Let's go take possession of it," he didn't say; "let's go in and struggle and fight and hope we can somehow come out on top." -no, he believed God and in a sense was saying; "let's go in and take it, it's ours. Yes, there are obstacles, but God will bring us through in victory, look what He's done for us so far - come on, it is as God said!" Sadly, the people didn't listen to the faith of Caleb, instead they chose to believe or put their faith in the bad or evil report. Why was the report evil when the other spies stated the natural, obvious truth? It became evil when they doubted the Word of God, that God would back or stand behind what He said He would do. They chose to put their faith in the circumstances ability to overcome them. In a sense, they were calling God a liar. Unbelief, pure and simple!!!

All that night the people cried, and wept, saying; "Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword." Notice how the fear gripped them at their very core and began to escalate their emotional state, which eventually led them to begin to form a "Let's Go Back to Egypt" committee. These are the very people who had seen the miracles of the Lord, the strength and power of God, and yet they allowed fear to rule their destiny. Fear will always paralyze, pollute and poison your faith if left unchecked. Fear must always be dealt with in a very firm and decisive manner when it comes to the promises of God. I love the acronym for F.E.A.R. - False Evidence Appearing Real.

In response to their misdirected faith (doubt & unbelief), the Lord brought judgment upon the people and proclaimed that they were condemned to wander in the wilderness until they had all died off. Only their children would enter in and possess the promised land, and 40 years later that became a reality. Interesting fact: Psalm 90, which was written by Moses, was written during this 40 year period of time concerning the wanderings with these disobedient, unbelieving people until they all died off, and they all died prematurely. Psalm 90:10 records this for us - "The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow." Compare Moses who lived to 120, Joshua 110, Aaron 123 years of age.

We should equate unbelief with death. Every time unbelief comes knocking on our door, regarding God's Word, we should think death! Unbelief will steal your blessing, it will leave you wandering in the wilderness of life. It will leave you empty, void of the blessing that God has intended for you to enjoy. The lesson here is that faith does not deny the reality of problems or difficulty, but relies instead on the Lord's ability and boldly declares the promise and power of God in the face of the problem, declaring - "It is as God said!"

Dan Downey
All Rights Reserved (c)
Dan Downey 2000

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