READ: Numbers 13-16, Psalm 45, Luke 1, 1 Corinthians 1
The twelve spies were not sent into Canaan in order to find out if conquest was possible; they were sent to discover how God would do the impossible. The point wasn’t the giants or the challenges; the point was the glory of God. The glory of the impossible is God’s alone. The more improbable the conquest, the clearer it is that God did it. God was, in fact, giving His people the privilege of an impossible assignment – that they might revel in His glorious deliverance. Joshua and Caleb got the point: “[The giants] are our bread, their protection has departed from them” (Num. 14:9). All others failed; they failed to believe.
Belief delights the heart of Jesus. Disbelief is doubly dangerous. We not only reject God, He rejects us (v. 34). If belief makes God deliriously happy, disbelief makes Him blazing mad. Disbelief leads to complaint, complaint leads to rebellion, rebellion leads to God’s wrath, and our consumed carcass littering a wilderness (v. 29).
Unbelief struck Zacharias mute (Luke 1:20). Both Zacharias and Mary were given an impossible assignment, both were afraid, both were troubled, and both asked a question. Zacharias was punished “because [he] did not believe [God’s] words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” Mary was honored and lauded: “Blessed is she who believed, for their will be a fulfillment of things told her” (v. 45). Zacharias’ question came from a heart of unbelief and essentially communicated a lack of trust. Mary’s question was more of an acquiescence: “OK with me God. I trust you, but it is a bit unusual, so what is the plan? What do you want me to do?”
Jesus is looking for those who will believe Him for impossible things. When Jesus discovers the man or woman who trusts Him enough to believe for what is impossible, He is thrilled. He entrusts His Spirit and His unlimited power to those simple enough to say: “Yes, Lord, let it be in the world, according to Your Word.” The mountain movers are the grasshoppers who believe. This is our work, John reminds us, to believe. Let’s work hard at believing.