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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 17, 2024

Read to Read …Again

 

Daily Reading:  Numbers 14-15

 

Numbers 14:4

And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into

Egypt.

 

They were disillusioned, downhearted, discouraged, despondent, and desperate. These are always the results of living by sight instead of living by faith. They could not see ahead, yet they could see behind. Egypt was something they knew, they understood, they could cope with Egypt. But not the unseen future. They were disappointed for that they could not see. The ten spies told them they could not take the “promise land” though there was milk and honey there, grapes the size of bowling balls were there, but there were also Anakims there. There were giants in the land.

 

Many years ago, an older man trusted Christ in our church, he walked our aisle and submitted to the ordinance of baptism. He had lived a very hard life; his family was walking in his steps. They had more issues than bees in a nest. He led them, in his advanced age, to church and the narrow life of a true believer. Then he passed. Soon, this member of his family fell away, then that one, then another. Problem after problem, trouble after trouble, and difficulty after difficulty struck them. One thing after another. It was like a faucet turned on and all the results of poor choices seemed to cascade upon them, one after another.

 

It wasn’t long until they were totally and completely out of church, out of the will of God, and out of hope. The last time I spoke with one of the family, a leader, that person said, “Ever since we began going to your church all these bad things have been happening.”  They associated “going to church” as the catalyst for all these “attacks” they were under. Going to church, walking the narrow road, and building a life in Christ was not the cause of these things. Those “things” were the eventualities of life. The consequences of sin. The lack of faith to walk the battles through.

 

But they went back to Egypt and probably found that it was no better than it was when they left it. Israel wanted to do the same. They believed the ten unbelieving spies instead of the two that walked by faith. When was the last time the majority was right? Right? Israel would pay a price. An arduous forty-year journey, the death of almost everyone over 20 years old, and even the misguided battle and ultimate rout by the Amalekites and the Canaanites at the end of this chapter.

 

My pastor taught me years ago, through a constant repetition of a simple saying, to never stop living by faith. He would say often, “Never stop in doubt that which was started in faith.”  Israel did, and they paid a price. That family I love, pray for, and tried to help did. Many others over 25 years of pastoring the same church have also. But praise God some still live by faith, they have grabbed the brass ring (a merry go round reference) and are living a life in the promise land of victorious Christian living! Living in the promise land does not guarantee that there will be no issues or conflicts, but it does guarantee victory to all who forge ahead, living by faith, by fighting that good fight of faith just as Paul encouraged Timothy to do in I Timothy 6:12.  Fight the good fight of faith…

 

William T. Howe Ph.D.

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