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Called Forward

Words of Faith Final

Called Forward

Words of Faith 6-19-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Numbers 14

    That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. [2] All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! [3] Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?" [4] And they said to each other, "We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt."

    [5] Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. [6] Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes [7] and said to the entire Israelite assembly, "The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. [8] If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. [9] Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them."

    [10] But the whole assembly talked about stoning them.

 

      Fear is a strange bedfellow.  Fear can sometimes be a wise protector warning us away from a foolish endeavor.  Fear keeps us away from sharp objects, the edge of cliffs, and foolish fistfights.  But fear can also totally undermine our faith if we let it run rampant.  Such was the case in the desert of Paran. 

      The bad report from the ten spies took hold and swept the nation.  A phrase like "public panic" would be used in a modern setting.  The people wept.  They voiced the preference to go back to the brutal slavery of Egypt.  Why?  They were afraid.  They compared their strength to that of their enemies and concluded that a disaster was imminent.  They failed to compare the strength of the Lord to that of their enemy.

      Moses and Aaron were stunned.  They fell face down before the people.  Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes in grief and frustration.  They had seen the Promised Land and knew that with God they could take possession of this wonderful place.  They had seen the high fortifications and huge enemies, but they knew that God was bigger. 

      But the people would have nothing of it.  They were determined to be fearful.  They were determined not to believe!  They were determined to look backward. So, the talk about stoning went through the camp.

       This would be a great scene in a movie.  Four men-- Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb-- huddled together, awaiting the next move.  After coming all this way, they very well could have been stoned to death in the desert.  Was fear about to win?  Or would faith take hold?

      The scene is almost ridiculous to us.  What if these four men-- “the leaders of the free world”-- were to die in the desert?  Were the people really prepared to march back to Egypt?  To the slavery and bondage of a day gone by. Apparently.

       This is the strange side of fear.  It can lead us backward.  It can actually take us captive.  Whole nations can go the wrong way because they listened to the voices of fear rather than the voices of faith.  

       As modern Jesus people, we can also be frightened into preferring the past over the future God has for us.  We can be lulled into thinking that slavery was a good deal.  We can succumb to the voices that tell us sin isn't so bad, and shackles can be made attractive and fashionable. 

       The truth is that in God's program, there is no reverse gear.  There is no call backward into sin.  There is no retreating into the comfort of the past.  We are called forward toward the Promise.  Period.

       Have you been scared lately?  We live in some frightening times. The perils seen on the nightly news and morning headlines can make us want to go backward. Don’t forget this. God is still in charge.  He has got all of this in His sight and in His care. He is the God who works in all things toward His redeeming plan. And what any enemy intends for evil He can turn for good and the saving of many.

       Have you been tempted by the comfort of slavery to sin?  God is still calling you forward.  Have you doubted the promises of God?  He is still ready to lead you.  Have faith.  Press on.

 

       Lord, show me the next step.  Scare off these fears of mine.  Call me forward.  Help me to listen to the voices of faith. In the mighty Name of Jesus.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.