December 12, 2017

Confident Joshua

Numbers 14:1-10

The Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.

—  Numbers 14:9

After a long trek through the wilderness, the Israelites were within view of the promised land. Twelve spies were chosen to scout out the land. They returned describing a land of green pastures and rich soil and produce. But ten of them said that conquering the land would be impossible, for they had also seen giants and fortified cities (Number 13:26-33).

The people whined and complained. But two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, reminded everyone that God had promised that land to them, so God would make it theirs if they trusted him. But the people wouldn’t listen and instead talked of killing Joshua and Caleb. So God decided that because of their grumbling and complaining, a different, more trusting generation would inherit the land. Forty years later, God helped Israel claim the land under their new leader, Joshua. Joshua, whose name means “God saves,” grew to experience God’s saving power in many ways for his people.

Sometimes we can be afraid of what lies ahead. People and circumstances loom like giants, and problems seem impossible to solve. But we have a choice. We can stay afraid, or we can trust God to walk with us. We can do that because we belong to another whose name means “God saves”—Jesus. He was given that name because he would “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Do you trust in the one who saves?

Jesus, when we face enormous problems and scary opponents, help us to call on you, the one who saves. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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