Stepping Into Faith

Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 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. Numbers 14:6–8

Joshua and Caleb stood their ground. Though the entire assembly around them grumbled in anger and unbelief, Joshua and Caleb stayed true to You, the one they knew who kept his promises. In the end, they were the only two out of that generation allowed to enter the land You promised to give.

It is never easy to bear others’ criticism or rejection when standing for the truth. In fact, the more vocal the opposition, the more tempting it is to either switch allegiances or hide what we know in silence. But Joshua and Caleb’s story call Your people out of cowardice. If I don’t stand with You, I don’t stand at all.

 

Is Your Arm Too Short?

The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”Numbers 11:23

Barely out of Egypt, the Israelites began grumbling against Moses—and ultimately You, God—for taking them out of captivity and into the nearby desert only to starve to death. You provided manna each day and when they people began complaining about the manna, you provide more!

You—the One who had leveled Egypt with ten devastating plagues—the One who had parted the Red Sea to provide a way for Israel’s escape—wasn’t worried. You knew You had the power to save them in the desert, just as he had in Egypt. But the real question was: Why didn’t they?

So You spoke to the root of their unbelief. “Is the Lord’s arm too short?” he simply asked. It unearthed the question hidden in my soul. Are You really enough? Can You possibly provide all that I will ever need? Then You answered: Quail, too numerous to count, blew in from the sea. You had provided, as You promised You would. Yes, Your arm was—and is—long enough!

You Were There In The Midst Of It All

He thought he had escaped his past and hidden well in his new hometown of Midian. Life back in Egypt had been both hard and good. Good in that Moses enjoyed the privileges and education of royalty as an adopted son in Pharaoh’s kingdom. Hard, because he never forgot his true heritage. He was an Israelite by birth, and it had pained him terribly to see his own people so badly abused. In their defense, one day he killed a cruel Egyptian taskmaster who was tormenting a fellow Hebrew. The loyalty cost him his royal position and he fled to Midian to start a new life—an easier one. The sheep he tended there never argued or fought. They simply followed his lead, and life became good again.

Then You, God, showed up, blazing in a bush along Moses’ path, his life flaming with Your passion. “Go set my people free,” You commanded. Fear attacked from all sides. How could Moses say no to a holy God? But how could an ordinary shepherd deliver a nation?

“Send someone else,” he countered. But You would not have it. You had chosen Moses from before birth for this task, equipped him in ways he hadn’t even understood. Eventually, Moses began to see. The great I AM would be everything he could need, his own inadequacies insignificant in Your light—powerful, just, and compassionate— leading through him.

So Moses obeyed, step by step, and Israel’s history changed forever. Through ten disastrous plagues, You demonstrated Your supremacy over worthless Egyptian idols. Then leading Your people on dry land through a parted Red Sea, You sealed Egypt’s attempt to recapture the Israelites by drowning all who pursued them.

The Israelites slowly realized they were a people again—Your people, freed from former bondage to worship the One who delivered them. Moses as mediator received Your commands for holy living, instructions for the Tabernacle. He explained to Your people what it meant to have fellowship with You, a righteous God…what it looked like for their relationship to be restored, to be one again.

At Exodus’ conclusion, they built the Tabernacle, and Your glory descended to fill it. You had come to dwell with Your people, to love and lead them through life. Your cloud by day and fire by night reminded Moses and all Your people: The great I AM always has been and forever will be the one you need.

You Were There In The Beginning!

Imagine utter darkness. Total emptiness. Complete silence. And then one voice piercing the void. You, God!

You opened Your mouth and declared Your heart: Let there be light! and His everlasting power changed everything.

Light flooded the universe, the perfect canvas for His radiant creativity. Billions of stars, planets and galaxies blazed into being. Yet You reserved only one place for Your concentrated attention: earth.

Like an artist’s stroke, You brushed water and land into place. Sun, moon and stars rose at Your command. More words here, a rush of color there, and soon vegetation and animals filled the land and skies.

It was all good. You said so Yourself. But You weren’t finished. You wanted people made in Your very own image. People with whom You, the Creator of the universe, could have a relationship. Molding dirt into shape, You breathed Your life into man, and Adam awoke—living, thinking, laughing, and loving unlike anything else in all of creation.

But for Adam needed a helper. So You made Eve—not out of emptiness or dirt, but from Adam’s own rib. You took the one part from Adam closest to his heart to create a helper who would, in very essence, be one with Adam…and one with You. And You said, “It was very good.”

Genesis is the story where love begins…You, our God of the universe creating the world where You would come to have one-on-one relationships with Your people. Of course, Satan and sin entered the picture and severed that unity, bringing pain, death, and despair instead. Like permanent black ink spilled on a beautiful watercolor, the damage seemed irreparable.

But again, Your voice dispelled the darkness. You told of Your Son, the One, true Light of the world who could take away sins’ stain forever. In time, He would come to restore what had been lost. To heal the broken. To make Your people one with You again.

All wasn’t lost. Your masterpiece of hope had only just begun…