Believing God’s Word When the Pressure Is On
"And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the Lord our God doth give unto us. Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 1:20-21
It is astonishing on the face of it, yet all too commonly observed that most of us, regardless of intelligence in matters of academics, Science, Engineering, Medicine, and a host of other intellectual pursuits, can be totally irrational and easily swayed, however briefly, and allow ourselves to doubt the willingness of God to meet our needs in moments when we’re under pressure.
How quickly we forget the times and times again that God provided for us and even rescued us from certain disaster by His grace and generosity toward us by the hands of His servants and even by supernatural intervention.
We’re generally good up to a point in holding our confidence without wavering until we pass our comfort zone of trust. Then, when things appear to be uncertain; deadlines are looming or have passed, our coffers are empty and we find ourselves in that area where there is nothing to hold on to but the Word of God. In those moments we have a choice to make.
Will we trust God’s WORD and rest in that, or will we panic, expecting, things will only get worse and only see doom, failure and certain destruction imminent?
This was the case for the people of Israel after they were finally freed from Pharaoh’s bondage and oppression in Egypt. God promised to bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey and they were eager to see it; at least when they began the journey. All along the way He kept them, protected them, blessed them and provided for them even miraculously. None were sick, none died and none had their shoes or clothes wear out, except those who rebelled against God and perished in the wilderness.
When they came into the land, after two years of journeying through hostile lands and nations where God had blessed and provided for them despite the ruggedness and forbidding condition of the places they passed through on the way from Egypt, God spoke to them through Moses.
“And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the Lord our God doth give unto us. Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go upandpossessit, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 1:20-21
So the people proposed to send in some of their men to search out the land and to determine the most strategic way to enter in and possess it. And the idea pleased Moses, so he chose twelve, three from each tribe, to go up and search out the land.
"And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out. And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the Lord our God doth give us. “ Deuteronomy 1:24-25
But when they heard the report of the twelve they became fearful because they said, “our brethren have discouraged our hearts.” Deuteronomy 1:18
Did they not hear the witness of Joshua and Caleb? Did they not see the abundance of fruit that was found in the land and the word of these men who saw with their own eyes the reality of what God had promised to all of them? [Numbers 13-14]
Yes, they heard and they saw the truth, but they chose not to believe it, because among those who saw the abundance and fruitfulness of the land there were ten who brought back a report of fear and discouragement.
Only two witnesses, Joshua and Caleb, saw the fulfillment of the promise of God and were not moved by the numbers or the height of the men of the city or the greatness of the city’s walls, or the presence of giants, the Anakims, in the land.
This was Joshua’s attitude.
“Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said.” Joshua 14:12
They had a clear choice before them, the witness of those who could only see the obstacles that stood in the way of their quest, or the witness of those who saw the proof of God’s Word and were confident that if God was with them they could take the land.
The people could choose to embrace the lie that was murmured among them that God had brought them out of Egypt to kill them in the wilderness because He hated them, or they could trust the God who had delivered them and provided for them time and again all along their Journey from crossing the Red Sea to escape the pursuing armies of Pharaoh up to this very moment.
They could choose to hear and receive the word of those who spoke fear and discouragement to them or they could choose to hear the words of God’s men who said, “It is a good land which the Lord our God doth give us.”
But they dug in their heals and would not move.
“Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God: And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the Lord hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. Whither shall we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.”
Despite their rebellion and for the sake of the true witnesses God was wiling to show them mercy. Moses pleaded with them.
‘Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The Lord your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes; And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the Lord thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place. Deuteronomy 1:21-31
But still, they rejected the admonition of Moses, so God rejected them and swore that they would not enter the land. Only Joshua and Caleb and the children of the people who were too young to know good from evil would enter the land.
“Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the Lord. Also the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither. But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.” Deuteronomy 1:35-39
So they were turned back to the desert to wonder for 38 years until all of that generation had died. Then God brought those who remained including Joshua and Caleb back to that place where they went in and took possession of the land.
When the pressure is on is no time to give into fear and discouragement. Stand firm and unmoved on the Word of God and go forth in faith, even when it seems there are giants in the land. Know this, the giants are no match for our God.
He has said I will never leave you or forsake you even to the ends of the earth. From generation to generation God affirms His presence with His people and His Church to every believer who trusts in and confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10
“They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.” Jeremiah 1:19
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20
When the Word is all we have to lean on, we remember the Word is all we need. Do not be discouraged.
“Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 1:20-21
Your blessing is on the way. God is with you. His Glory is around you. His Word is before you and His love is in you and for you, always. He is your exceedingly great reward!