We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. HOWEVER, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. (Numbers 13:27-28, ESV, emphasis mine)
Those speaking in the passage above were the men Moses had sent to spy out the land of Canaan. After 40 days and ~300 miles, the men returned and gave their report.
It’s interesting that their description of the land began exactly as God had promised Israel they would find it, “It flows with milk and honey…” (Exodus 3:17). Again in Exodus 13, we read:
And when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey… (v.5)
The spies had seen the promise regarding the milk and honey fulfilled, but they seemed to forget the other promise in this verse – that God had sworn to give it to them! Instead of focusing on this additional promise, the spies immediately became consumed with the, “However…” They believed in the promise they could see (the fruit of the land), but they refused to believe the unseen promise (how God would defeat the giants and give them that land).
We all have our “However…” moments. Despite God’s promises throughout Scripture, we often focus more on the obstacles blocking our paths than on the Lord who holds our hands while we walk.
No, God doesn’t always defeat our giants, but He has promised to never leave us as we do battle (Hebrews 13:5). He is our helper, so we need not fear (13:6) – but we will only experience this if we focus on His promise and not our “However.”
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