They Are Bread for Us! [Challenges]


Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” 10 Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel.”

Numbers 14:9-10

Exactly, how do we see our challenges? During the time of Moses and Joshua, and when the land of Canaan [still out there] had yet to be conquered, was still waiting, this happened. But there were many [most] who wanted out. In their limited experience, they saw some serious problems– disaster, becoming a slaughter. They were terrified.

An attempt to stall this insurgency, a few speak up. They call it what it is– rebellion. The people [enmass] begin to organize. More a mob than a crowd, things get nasty. Moses stands up, and speaks loud enough to be heard. [He is not a public speaker.] And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.”

Many times we have to choose. The decision to follow Him is almost always dangerous. It requires daring ideas, and is against much of we label common sense. People will always speak doubtful things, and we find little support for our faith to launch out.

Bread is there to build us up. It is good food that might strengthen us. It becomes the metaphor for strength that increases. I grew up with “Popeye” eating spinach out of a can. He found lots of energy, with amazing new abilities. [It almost persuaded me to eat it.] The enemies in the land may seem to be formidable, and without the presence of God they were.

But we are really strengthened by our foes. That which did not weaken us, but only made us stronger. What is bread? Why it is “the staff of life.” In 1 Corinthians 16:9, “There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.”

Victory is never easy. It would be easy if it is always found in a can of spinach. But it is not. It is exclusive to the “presence” of God. Our foes will only fortify us. And that’s a promise for you.

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Don’t Be Afraid, Just Trust

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1, NIV


 I remember taking a ride  in a glass bottomed boat in the tropics.  Such a deep and vivid display rolled out before me.  It was beautifully complex, and my tiny view into the depths was quite exceptional.  To think, this is all unfolding even when we aren’t looking.  It is a world completely beyond our own.  There are several valid  and living principles embedded in these verses.  As we gaze into these depths we are magnificently drawn to Him in many ways.  These verses are sublime.   Thinking such thoughts is one of reasons we were created for.

The promises of God are really not that hidden or secret.  We only have to look into this “leather bound’  book.  When we look to the point of exclusion of everything else,  we are sure to see things that we never dreamed of.  In Joshua, chapter 1, we get a deep view of how God starts touching a human soul.  Certain issues get negotiated.  Joshua is brought into compliance to God’s intention.

And us.  What can we say?  Some of us may hold that Joshua was the exception and substantially distinct.  But I think, in a most sincere way possible, he was the norm.  When God deals most exceptionally with our open hearts.  He will always bring us to the compliance of Joshua.  What Joshua did was quite exceptional, and yet it was very ordinary and only moderately intense. Faith translates and makes the transition.

These verses somehow magnetically draw us to obedience.  The command is to courageous.  Courage is definitely a very rare commodity for us.  Joshua is brought to this point, and he must trust to the place of personal loss, or whatever it takes.

Success is being  highlighted.  And than the Word, and when you mix the two, it develops into something that is spiritually elegant and complete.  Meditating, or the original Heb. which means to ruminate, brings us to the delightful moment of digestion.  We can never just take in God’s Word.  We must “process it.”  That takes not just time, but chewing and swallowing.  It is not gulped, but it has to be assimilated.  It must be “intelligently chewed.”  We must nibble, and never try to gulp, no matter how sweet it is.

Joshua was requested to keep the Word, completely and situational in front of him.  Success would come, but only come if he would simply obey.  Obedience seems like such a bitter truth.  I must confess, I honestly hate obedience.  Christianity can be terribly hard it seems, especially so when it is active, real and “in place.”  I admit I’m not 100 per cent sure.  But I know enough that I should trust, but although it took me fifty years.

One of the main themes found in these verses is the idea  the idea that God’s presence is that it is specifically focused on me.  When He concentrates on me, when He makes me His bullseye, it has a momentum to transform me.  God’s rich presence starts to foment in me, I can transform into another person.  Joshua was changed as he processed rightfully the nearness of his Father.  Help me Lord, to follow you into this intimacy.  Give me your understanding, inject yourself into here, in my feeble thought and understanding.

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