In speaking of the Israelites as they came for the first time to the border of the Promised Land, Hebrews 4:2 says, “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it”(emphasis added). This Scripture is referring to God’s people. They knew the Word. They knew the promises. But still, they died out in the wilderness. This happened not because they didn’t know what God wanted for them, but because they didn’t mix all their knowledge with faith.
That is the reason why, although God had promised them the land, He did not bring them into that promise. The Israelites came to the border of the Promised Land, but they couldn’t enter because of their unbelief. They saw the giants in the land. They saw the fortified cities. They saw the impossibilities. And 10 of the spies said (paraphrase), “We simply cannot do it.” These spies were telling the truth. They were not lying. They could not do it; the armies of Israel were just not strong enough. Joshua and Caleb, the two spies who brought back a different report, believing they would see victory, did not argue with the others about the impossibilities. They did not say, “You bunch of liars, be quiet.” No. Instead they replied, “If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey’ ” (Numbers 14:8). Through faith, Joshua and Caleb knew that God was able, and that made all the difference.
This entry was written by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.