Read Deuteronomy 13
This month’s reading from Deuteronomy 13 challenges us to believe God’s promises when situations appear to contradict His Word.
God gave Moses a promise that the Jews would be released from Egyptian captivity and given a land that was “good and spacious” (see Ex. 3:8, NIV). In Deuteronomy 13, you will note that the people began to doubt what God had promised. So the Lord directed Moses to send 12 spies into the land that God planned to give Israel (see Num. 13:1-2).
What 10 spies saw frightened them. They reported: “‘The people who live there are powerful,’” and “‘They are stronger than we are’” (Num. 13:28, 31).
God has given you a promise as well. He said in Jeremiah 29:11 He has plans “‘to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Are you letting things you believe are more powerful than you hold you back from accepting God’s promise for you?
Or are you like Caleb, one of the two spies who weren’t afraid? He too saw the strong men in the land and their fortified cities. But he trusted God. His report to Moses and all Israel was, “‘We can certainly do it’” (v. 30). The Fire Bible: Global Study Edition states it this way in the note for Numbers 14:6: “Faithful believers must be willing to stand on God’s Word.”
This steadfast belief that what God says He will do is illustrated in the story of the Rev. Joe Combs. Combs was born in 1921 and grew up during the Great Depression. In 1939 he was called to preach, but World War II was just beginning, and he could not attend Bible school until after his military service.
In his book, The Gentle Call, Combs writes: “The very next morning [after he got out of the service] I was standing at the registrar’s office. ... I was a sorry sight. I stood there with all the earthly goods I owned in my dirty sea bag. ... They laughed at me and told me school started two weeks ago and I was too late.”
He goes on to say, “I was reading at a fifth grade level trying to do college work.” But his lack of wealth, reading skills, social standing (all powerful enemies of what God had said) did not hold Combs back. He worked hard, pushed forward and went on to plant and pastor churches throughout the Midwest.
This month consider the strong opposition in your life not as a roadblock to God’s call but as the enemy God has already overcome by the promises in His Word. Make your report the same as Caleb’s: “We [God and you] can certainly do it.”