Numbers 13, Explore The Promised Land
1. God Invites You To Evaluate The Truth Of His Claims (v1-25)
2. True Evaluation Reveals Benefits And Challenges (v26-29)
3. True Conclusions Will Always Require Faith (v30)
4. Unbelief Always Produces False Conclusions (v31-33)
Numbers 13, Explore The Promised Land
Numbers 13, Explore The Promised Land
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Numbers chapter 13 is where we're going to be this evening, and looking at this really prominent passage and this popular passage, where the spies are sent into the land of Canaan to explore the territory that God is giving to them, and so let's.
Jump into numbers.
Starting first of all, in verses one through three, here's what it says in numbers.
Chapter 13, verse one, and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying.
And send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel from each tribe of their fathers.
You shall send a man everyone a leader among them.
So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran, according to the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the Children of Israel.
Here we see the commissioning of these guys as they're sent ahead of them into the promised land.
Now I've titled the message This evening, explore the promised land, because that's what these guys are sent to do.
They're sent to explore it to search it out to find out all about it, and to bring back the reports too.
The people and this of course is full of pictures for us to consider, because as you look at the account of Israel here in the book of numbers and.
Exodus and the Vatican says, well, there's the the pictures that we often refer to where we see pictured the deliverance from sin as Israel was delivered out of Egypt, that the the Christian life begins.
Of course, in ******* to sin and and by the Holy Spirit we are regenerated.
By believing in Jesus Christ were baptized just as they crossed through the Red Sea and and we are baptized into Christ, and.
And so there's these great pictures there in Israel coming out of Egypt that foreshadow that beginning work of us, being born again, believing in Jesus, and receiving the the work of deliverance.
That he does on our behalf, and then you have Israel in the wilderness at Mount Sinai for about a year and a half.
And that time in the wilderness you might think of it as foundational time.
That's where God is giving them instructions regarding the law regarding the Tabernacle, teaching them how to worship him, teaching them how to walk with him, and and I would suggest that for us as believers, that pictures also that foundational time of our life, that.
We are new believers and and there's that need for like a real structured foundation to be built for us to learn how to walk with the Lord for us to learn how to worship the Lord and.
And there is that time for us to to really build.
A relationship with the Lord in that way.
But then the children of Israel have now here in numbers Chapter 13 come to the bottom edge of the promised land.
This whole time God has been telling them I'm leading you to that land of Canaan, the land that flows with milk and honey.
That's the land I promised to Abraham.
And to his descendants, which that's what the children of Israel are.
And so this is the land that I promised to Abraham.
I'm giving it to you now.
They're at the bottom edge of that and they're about to enter in and it pictures for us.
This promised land life.
In this spirit or sometimes referred to as victorious Christian living, and you could check out Romans Chapter 8 and consider you know what that looks like in many ways, and so that promised land pictures.
Not sometimes we think of it as heaven.
That's not really the picture of the the promised land because there's battles.
There's victories, there's defeats there's.
Struggles, you know those kinds of things, but it really pictures that a life in Christ a life of faith filled with the Holy Spirit lived out in obedience to the Lord.
And so there's these great pictures for us, and all of these things that that God wants to speak to us about as we learn from their examples.
It also foreshadows some of these elements of our Christian life.
Now I was listening to Pastor Damien Kyle share about this passage recently, and he shared an interesting perspective that I think.
Is worth considering, he said, you know, every promise for us, every promise that God has for us, every promise to us from the Lord.
He says you could think of it like a city in the promised land.
That's waiting to be conquered by Faith, just as the children of Israel were to go in and conquer each city of the promised land, he he says, you can look through the scriptures.
You can look at the promises that God has given to you and and consider them like that's your battlefield that you are to go forth.
And grasp hold of a promise from God and and accept it by faith.
Conquer it's by faith and the Lord says I love you.
And I will always love you and no matter what I love you and and that's a promise that, well, sometimes we doubt, and sometimes we waver in and we have to conquer that promise by faith that we have to accept it once and for all.
Receive that truth by faith.
God says I'll never leave you or forsake you, and sometimes we feel left.
In forsaken right we have to accept and believe in conquer that city by faith and receive that promise from the Lord.
And so you can kind of think about the promises of God within the promised land that way and and that kind of feeds into this idea here of exploring the promised land.
What are the promises that God has for you?
What are the promises that God wants you to grasp?
Hold of to believe, to accept, and to really like, you, know, take territory.
There's some conquering that needs to be done, and and what are those promises for you now tonight?
I'm not going to try to explore what all those.
Promises are but, but I I share that just so that you can be thinking about and praying about what it is that God has for you and what steps of faith you need to take and what promises you need to grasp hold.
But as we think about exploring the promiseland, there's four things that I'd like to share with you as we work our way through the passage tonight.
The first one is, well, it's point. Number one found in verses one through 25, God invites you to evaluate the truth of his claims.
And I'd encourage you to think about.
This God invites you to evaluate the truth.
Of his claims, look at verse one and two again.
It says the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel from each tribe of their fathers.
You shall send a man everyone a leader among them.
Here we find God's instruction to Moses.
And he sends, he says, send in these guys to spy out the land of Canaan.
Now as we look at this passage tonight and consider these things.
I I would share with you that as I was studying and preparing for this, I I think I'm.
I'm sharing this a little bit differently than what you might have heard before.
I think it's a little bit different than what I've heard before from many teachers.
It's different, a little bit from what I've heard before from other commentators in in evaluating this passage and and I don't often do that, and I don't do that lightly.
But the general consensus many times is that the spies should have never gone into the promised land.
That this was not something that should have been done because we find in Deuteronomy chapter one.
That it was the people's idea in Deuteronomy chapter one, verse 21 and 22, as Moses is recounting to the children of Israel these same events.
He says it from a different perspective. In verse 22, every one of you.
Came near to me and said let us send men before us and let them search out the land for us and bring back word to us of the way by which we should go up and the cities into which we shall come.
And so the question often arises, whose idea was it to spy out the land?
Because we have in Deuteronomy chapter one.
Well, the idea that it was the people of Israel.
It was their idea.
And then here in numbers chapter 13 we see the Lord spoke to Moses and the Lord said send men to spy out the land and so whose idea was it.
And oftentimes as we look at this, it's understood that it's the people who requested it.
And then God said OK, go ahead and do it, but again, oftentimes it's shared with or we think of it in terms of like you know, that's not really a good idea, but OK, I'll let you do it.
And as I was considering this passage for tonight, I began to just wrestle with it a little bit differently and think about it from a little bit different perspective than that.
Now I understand why it's often referred to that way and thought that way and taught that way, but I think one of the problems.
With that, is that the way that it's expressed.
It gives the impression that it's wrong.
To explore the land that God has said he was going to give to them that it's wrong to ask God questions.
Or to test the waters as we might see it that it's wrong to ask God For more information or for clarification.
And I, I think there's there's some caution that we need to apply in giving that impression.
And so here's my suggestion to you, that is.
That God, a value and not evaluate.
Scott invites you to evaluate the truth of his claims.
I would suggest to you that the Lord here saying send them in to spy out the land is not like a concession like this is going to be terrible.
You guys are going to regret this, but go ahead and do it.
If you want to.
It's going to hurt you.
I would suggest that although the Lord knew what the outcome would be, it was appropriate for the people to spy out the land that they were about to head into, that it wasn't necessarily wrong for the spying out the land to happen.
In fact, later on, when they're going to, you know, go to Jericho, then they send out spies.
Again, right like that's part of the way that God works in other occasions also, and so it's not necessarily wrong that the spies went out, even though we know how it ends.
Most of the spies come back in unbelief.
That doesn't mean that the beginning part was wrong for them to go out at all.
Now think about it this.
Way on Sunday.
We considered some incredible promises of blessing, right?
I mean, just fabulous, incredible in numbers.
Chapter 6 the high priestly blessing, and the fact that God.
Once you bless.
Just how God promises to bring you joy and protection now I would suggest you that's that's a promise that God wants you and invites you to explore.
And I don't mean test the boundaries of or test him on, but to to evaluate and see.
Can I believe this promise?
Can I hold fast to this promise?
And what does this promise really mean in my life?
What does it look like in my life?
The fact that God smiles on you and promises grace again not to test it and send as much as you can to you know, see if God will continue to show you grace.
No, I'm not talking about exploring the promised land like that.
But I'm talking about explore what it means the the full boundaries of of what it means that God promises you grace.
God promises to give you his attention and to give you his peace.
And I would encourage you, God wants you to explore that and understand what that means.
Kind of spy out the land and and understand what you're getting yourself into.
Can we believe these promises?
Can we grasp hold of these promises?
Can these promises be true?
God wants you.
To do a little research to do it little digging, can we trust him?
To give us his attention and his peace, is that a promise that that he can follow through on and fulfill God invites you to.
Explore the things that he wants to give to you.
Of course, some people use questions and things like this as a cover for rebellion.
You know, as a cover for it as an excuse not to listen to God, not to obey God.
And of course, you know you're always going to end up in the wrong conclusion there, but at the same time I would encourage you to.
Consider God, God invites you.
To evaluate the truth, he invites you.
To evaluate his claims, the things that he promises you, he doesn't say, listen, don't think about what I'm telling you.
Don't ask any questions about what I'm telling you.
Don't try to apply any logic or to evaluate anything that I'm saying, you just believe it and do it and don't ask any.
Questions about it?
That's not what God says.
God says no no.
Let's reason together like check out these things and pursue these things well.
Looking here at the passage we see.
The Lord said this, he.
Said to Moses, send men to spy out the land of Canaan.
Now in verses, 3 three sixteen we have the record of the actual guys who went and we're going to kind of just jump over that.
Part and move onto verse 17.
Now as Moses gives instruction to the men who are heading out.
Verse 17 Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them go up this way into the South and go up to the mount.
Sentence and see what the land is like, whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many, whether the land they dwell in is good or bad, whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds, whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are forests there or not, be of good courage.
And bring some of the fruits of the land.
Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.
So as these guys are sent forth, Moses gives them pretty detailed instruction.
He tells them he go up into the South.
Start here, go up this way he kind of gave them a route to follow, but notice all the things that he tells them to see what the land is like.
Go in there and check it out and find out.
Are the people who dwell in.
It strong or weak.
And so the instruction is not just to look at the land, but also to evaluate the inhabitants of the land.
We're going to go in there, and we're going to face battles.
Help us understand what kind of battles are we going to be facing?
Are they going to be big battles or little battles?
Are they going to be fierce battles or soft battles?
Are the people they're strong, or are they weak?
Are they few or are they many?
Give us a sense of what are the numbers that we're talking about here.
What are the odds you know as we come to to battle with these different groups of people?
What kind of people are we facing?
How many are they and and are they strong or weak?
But then also evaluate the land.
Check out the land that they dwell in.
Is it good or bad?
Are we, you know, going to be battling in swampland?
Or is it you know, good for battle?
Are we going to be trying to cultivate you, know difficult ground?
Or is the ground you know ready for farming and and able to be used?
He says check out their cities.
Are they like camps or are they like strongholds?
Is it going to be, you know, just a a bunch of tents in a field that we're dealing with as we come to conquer a city.
Or or are they cities that are fortified?
You know they have walls and and and gates, and we're going to have to battle those kinds of battles.
Check out the land if it's rich or poor.
Hey see if there's forests.
You know, before we start plowing and you know preparing the ground, do we have to cut down a bunch of trees like how are we going to deal with that?
But let us know what kind of land is there.
If there's forests there.
And bring us some of the fruit.
Let us like see a sample of what it is that's being produced there.
In this land.
And so Moses here gives them instruction.
It's pretty thorough, right?
Like check out all these different things like get as much information as you can gather as much intelligence as you can.
This is the promised land.
Now keep in mind God has told them about the promised land.
He's told them it's a land that flows with milk and honey.
He's told them things about the promised land.
But still Moses.
On behalf of the Lord gives these guys instructions saying go check out these things and bring back a report of all of these different aspects of the land that got us promised to us.
And so the men went and did it, and verses 21 through 25 record that journey. And again we're not going to dive into all of the details of those verses. Instead, let me just show you.
This is a map of the nation of Israel before it's the nation of Israel.
This is where the children of Israel have been for some time.
They're down at the bottom in Sinai.
They've been camped out there.
They came across the Red Sea and were camped out there, building the Tabernacle hearing from the Lord.
Now they have arrived.
They went north.
To Kadish Barnea, which is the southern border there of the land that God was giving to them.
And so they're about to head into the land of Canaan.
And so, as they're about to head in, Moses gives them this instruction.
And so again verses 21 through 25 record their journey. They head out from there. They pass through Beersheba.
They go up all the way to the north, past Dan, possibly into even like the area around Damascus.
That's far north of what's shown here, and then they make their way back down from there and so they do this whole loop.
They kind of walk through the whole land.
And estimations usually range around 500 miles of their travel. During this 40 day period as they're exploring the promised land that God had sworn to give to them.
And so here you have these guys going forth to explore the land again to check out the people to check out their forces, their their cities, how strong they are to check out how productive the land is, how you know fertile the the land is and they're they're checking out all these things, exploring it all to bring back a report.
To the nation.
Of Israel, and again I would suggest that that pictures for us.
God inviting us.
To explore to evaluate his promises, his claims.
In our life.
I was thinking about the example of Jesus.
As he was experiencing some opposition from the religious leaders.
On one occasion in John Chapter 10, they picked up stones to stone him.
And Jesus said, hey, I've done many good works.
For which good work do you stone me?
In John Chapter 10, verse 33, it says the Jews answered him, saying for a good work we do not stone you, but for blasphemy because you, being a man, make yourself God.
They're saying look, Jesus you claim to be God.
And Jesus responds and says he, I invite you to evaluate the claim that I'm making.
Now I'm rephrasing it right?
I'm saying it in my own words but but that's what Jesus says.
He goes on in the next verse, John 1037. If I do not do the works of my father, do not believe me, but if I do, though, you do not believe me. Believe the works that you may know and believe that the father is in me and I in him Jesus tell the tells these religious leaders who are ready to stone him to put him to death.
He says evaluate my claims.
Be honest, be genuine and evaluate the claim that I'm making and if it doesn't line up with the reality.
Well then don't believe me.
But Jesus point is, you're welcome to.
You're invited to evaluate the claim, and you and I.
We should evaluate the claim that Jesus claimed to be God.
We should evaluate the claim that Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the father except through me.
Like the Lord is not saying don't think about it, don't you know?
Ask any questions.
Don't try to learn anything about it, just believe it.
And if you ask any questions you're wrong and you have unbelief, and so you should get out of here like that.
That is not the attitude of the Lord the Lord, saying, here is my claim, here is my promise.
Evaluate can I fulfill on this promise?
Does my behavior does my actions?
Does my history live up to the claim that I'm making?
Does it make sense?
Does it fit with the context of what's going on?
I was also thinking about Thomas.
After Jesus resurrected and appeared to the disciples, you know the accounts that Thomas wasn't with them that first occasion and all the guys told him, hey Thomas, we saw the Lord.
He's risen from.
The dead and he said, Oh no, I'm not going to believe that unless I see the nail prints, unless I, you know, feel the, the the, the sore or the.
The hole in his side.
I'm not going to believe that John Chapter 20 Jesus showed up and said, hey Thomas.
Here's my hands, touch.
Reach your hand here, put it in my side.
He said, do not be unbelieving, but believing.
Go ahead, evaluate my claims.
Thomas evaluate my promises, evaluate what it is that I have declared.
For yourself is this the truth?
Have I resurrected from the dead and Thomas believed he said, my Lord and my God?
Now, of course, Jesus went on to say because you have seen me, you have believed bless.
It are those who have not yet seen and have yet believed.
The idea there is not that.
Again, we should just check our brain at the door and believe without without evaluating what I would suggest is Jesus is saying there those who believe having not seen have already believed before they saw the Lord.
That is the disciples, the rest of the disciples, like Thomas had the same experience.
They didn't believe until Jesus was there because they didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah who would resurrect on the third day before that.
But now they did and the letter saying blessid are those who believe that without you know that further evidence they already believe that.
Even before that would happen.
Well, there's a lot of claims that the Lord makes.
The Bible is the word of God.
Listen, that is a claim that you should evaluate.
Like don't just take my word for it, don't just take somebody elses word for it.
The Bible is the word of God.
It is trustworthy, it is accurate, it is to be the standard by which we understand God and his will for our lives.
And there is an abundance of evidence.
That these things are true.
You should check that out.
You should know for yourself.
You should evaluate the claims that the Bible makes the Bible claims to be the word of God.
And it's not wrong for you to say.
How do we know that?
Can we really believe that?
Can we really rest our whole eternity on this book and the claims that it makes?
You should check into it.
There is an abundance of evidence and if you need help in that direction, of course we'd be glad to help you.
Consider, but at the same time you need to evaluate the truth of his claims.
Jesus claims that eternity is real.
God claims that there is a heaven that there is a hell.
Both are eternal.
You need to evaluate those claims.
You need to check it out and understand.
Now it starts with the Bible being the word of God, because if that's not your foundation and you can't believe that well, then you know you're kind of throwing out the standard.
And now you can just make up whatever you want, so that's one of the most important things to do is evaluate the scriptures and and know that you can believe them.
And trust in them.
But once the that that foundation is set, then well, evaluate the reality of eternity.
Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life in John Chapter 20.
I'm sorry John chapter 14.
I am the way, the truth and the life.
Evaluate that claim.
Is there no other way to the father?
Is there no other way to eternity with God aside from Jesus?
That that's a claim that what we should evaluate.
Again, the promises of God there.
They're there for us to believe.
But it's not wrong for us to consider them to evaluate them.
You could think about the example of Gideon, right?
God promised Gideon that he was going to have victory, even though he had few, and the Midianites were unlimited, right?
They were uncountable there.
There was so many of them.
God says, you know what?
If you're still having trouble believing this, why don't you sneak down to the camp and I'm gonna show you something 'cause his explore.
Evaluate the truth, evaluate this and and he gives him a sneak preview of what the Lord was about to do.
Evaluate the truth.
Of his claim, Scott invites you to do that.
We can take that even more personally now as we consider things in our own life.
Perhaps the Lord is stirring up in your heart, a change, perhaps you feel like the Lord wants to do something different, maybe.
I'm saying this, but the Lord doesn't want you to do this.
OK, maybe he wants you to move to Texas.
He doesn't want you to move to Texas for sure.
I could say that, but maybe he does.
Maybe he's speaking that to you now.
Maybe the words giving you a promise.
Maybe the words you know kind of smoking something about that to you and.
Yeah, evaluate the truth of that claim.
Like maybe you need to go.
Explore the territory.
Explore the land.
Seek the Lord about it.
In that way, maybe you need to, you know, get some counsel and and and to hear from others you know some of the things that you're working through and thinking through and studying.
You know where you fit in with that and.
What the Lord would say through the people around you.
Evaluate the claims.
It's appropriate, it's not wrong.
Now, if you're trying to evaluate it so that you can figure out a way to get out of what the Lord wants you to do, obviously you know the intention of your heart reveals everything but.
But the Lord is not saying never question, never ask, never explore, never evaluate.
Don't use your brain that that is not the way that the Lord works.
Maybe the words put on your heart.
Hey marry that person and you're like well.
OK, no I told me to.
I gotta do it, no questions asked.
I'm just going to do it.
You know, first of all, you should evaluate just to make sure that it was the Lord who really told you that right?
So there's that kind of evaluation that that needs to be done, but but also OK, Lord, what?
What are you saying in this?
And what does this mean for my life?
And what's my life gonna look like if I marry this person?
Maybe the Lord saying, go to that school?
The claims the promises the direction the leading serve in that ministry.
It's appropriate for us.
God invites you you.
You don't have to be afraid of exploring the things that God is saying and and seeking a better understanding when we demand to understand and have all the answers before we obey, that's a different story.
But at the same time, that doesn't mean we can't ask.
We can't seek clarification.
We can't seek for confirmation.
In fact, I would suggest we do need to seek confirmation.
We do need to seek for the Lord to reveal to us.
The things that he wants to accomplish.
And reveal in our lives, well, moving on to verses 26 through 29.
We get our.
Second point for tonight and I just realized my slides are all out of order, so I'll jump around.
Hopefully I'm not showing you the wrong things, but point number two true evaluation reveals benefits and challenges.
So if we're going to evaluate the claims of the Lord, here's what we're going to find.
We're going to find all of the good things that God has promised.
But we're also going to find the battles.
That are parts of that journey and that are part of that direction. Check out verses 26 through 20.
Nine says now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the Children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran.
At Kedesh they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.
Then they told him saying, and I'm sorry.
Then they told him and said we went to the land where you sent us.
It truly flows with milk and honey and this is its fruit.
Nevertheless, the people who dwell in the land are strong.
The cities are fortified and very large.
Moreover, we saw the descendants of ANAK there.
The amalekite's dwell in the land of the South. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and Amorites dwell in the mountains, and the Canaanites dwell by the sea along the banks.
Of the Jordan.
Here is the spies come back.
They reveal their report.
They share the news again.
Moses gave them all this detailed instruction about the things that they were to explore and to report back on.
And so they come back with that report and with the testimony of all the things that they had seen.
And the report.
Well, it includes the fruit.
Right there in the previous verses it recorded two guys carrying a cluster of grapes.
It was an abundance of food that was produced by the land and so they bring back these cluster of grapes as a sample and they say look here.
It is like this is amazing.
This incredible fruit.
The report says truly.
The land flows with milk and honey.
It is fertile, it is abundant, it is productive.
The land is abounding in fruit.
The report also includes the people are strong.
Now Moses told them when he sent them in right find out whether the people are strong or weak.
And so they came back.
And said the people are strong.
Find out if the cities aren't camps like tents or if they're fortified, if they're fortresses.
And they came back and said the cities are fortified.
And very large. They're in verse 28.
And so they're coming back.
With the report that Moses instructed them to give the descendants of Anak, are there.
Men who are known.
To be large to be giants.
And then they go on to give the rest of the enemies.
The position of the Amalekites.
The Hittites, the Jebusites, the Emirates, and the Canaanites.
Now what's interesting to consider is.
This report that they bring back is really not different than what the Lord has already told them.
From the beginning, God has told them I'm taking you into.
The land that flows with milk and honey and the Hittites are there, and the Jebusites are there.
And the Amalekites are there.
And the Amorites are there, and the Canaanites are there, and I'm going to drive them out before you.
And so all of this information that they're coming back with is information that the Lord had already given them.
And so their report agrees with what God has already revealed and declared.
I think it's also important to note all 12 spies came back with the same facts up to this point, all of the spies are in agreement.
Joshua and Caleb are reporting these things along with the rest, even though they're going to differ in their conclusions in just a moment.
These are the facts.
This is the report.
It includes great fruit abundance.
That is, you know, they're in the land.
And also, here's the enemies.
Here's the battles.
Here's the situation that we're going to be facing when it comes to the the victories that will need to be.
True evaluation reveals benefits.
That that is an aspect of life.
That is true across everything.
Pretty much that we do.
Everything in life comes with pros and cons.
And that includes obeying the Lord.
And God says you need to understand the pros and cons.
And you need to evaluate them.
Again, you need to explore the land.
Check out the claims, check out the things that I've said and understand.
The benefits and the challenges understand the pros and the cons.
Think about it this way.
Jesus said this in John chapter.
I'm sorry Luke.
Verse 27 whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down 1st and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?
Jesus here in teaching people what it would require to be his disciple, he says, look, you want to be my disciple.
You want to follow me.
You want to be a believer in Jesus?
You need to count the cost.
You need to evaluate.
There's some challenges to this.
I mean, there's great promises, and there's eternity and forgiveness and grace and mercy.
There's you know, abundant promises.
But you also need to be willing to bear your cross and come after me.
You need to count the cost.
Just like if you're going to go start a big building project.
You you sit down ahead of time.
And you calculate all of the costs.
And you think about the money you have coming in.
You think about the money you have going out.
You think about the surprises that might happen in the middle of the construction.
And you look at your bank account.
Do I have enough to handle this project?
Notice what Jesus says there in verse 28.
Which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down 1st and count the cost?
That idea, that picture of sitting down and counting the cost is this is a serious evaluation, right?
This is not like a quick do the math in your head.
You know it's sit down.
Take some time, really evaluate what you're accepting.
When you say I want to be a believer in Jesus, understand.
What it is that you are accepting, believing, receiving and committing to?
Great benefits, incredible promises.
There's also a cost.
You need to be willing.
To bear your cross and come after me.
He goes on a little bit further down here in Luke Chapter 14.
To give another illustration, he says what king going to make war against another king does not sit down 1st and consider whether he is able with 10,000 to beat him who comes against him with 20,000.
So similar to a big building project, right?
If you're going to go into a big battle.
Who does it evaluate ahead of time?
Do I have what it takes to win this battle?
And having evaluated ahead of time, you know before we actually engage in the clash. In verse 32 he says, or else when the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and ask conditions of peace.
Sit down, evaluate.
I don't have what it takes to win this battle, so I need to arrange some kind of peace.
Now that's an accurate picture of us battling against the Lord, right?
We need to sit down, evaluate.
I can't win against the Lord, right?
I can't overthrow his word or or overthrow his laws, his principles and what he has declared.
And so I need to send a delegation and ask for conditions of peace.
To believe in Jesus Christ.
To submit to his will and his plans.
But he goes on to say likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has, cannot be my disciple.
And so Jesus gives the invitation.
Whoever wants to whoever will.
There's great promises.
Will you follow me?
But but he also makes it clear I want you to evaluate the cost.
Understand what you're getting yourself into.
Understand what you are committing to you.
A true evaluation.
About the promises of God and the claims of God.
Will reveal not just the good.
But also those things which are more challenging, everything in life comes with pros and cons.
On Sunday I shared a little bit about Maui, right?
Listen when we got a dog.
We agreed to the cuteness right?
We agreed to all the fun and the adorableness.
We agreed to all of that.
But you know, we also agreed to getting pee and poop on ourselves from the dog, right?
We agreed to late nights and early mornings.
We agreed to expensive pet that.
Visits something like that.
We agreed, you know, like there's there's all these elements and we had to evaluate both and decide is that what we want to do?
And in a similar way, the Lord says, evaluate my claims, evaluate my promises to you, understand there's costs involved as well as the benefits.
And if you understand it accurately.
The benefits outweigh the costs tremendously, but you still have to be willing to pay that price.
You still have to be willing.
To accept that cost.
Caused me to think about the apostle Paul.
In acts chapter 21.
The apostle Paul is headed towards Jerusalem, and as they're journeying there, they're stopping city by city, and the Lord is speaking by the Holy Spirit.
About what awaits for him in Jerusalem and one example of that acts chapter 21, verse 11.
The Prophet Agabus takes pause belts, binds his hands.
And says so shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him to the hand of the Gentiles?
That was not God, saying Paul don't go to Jerusalem.
That was God, saying, Paul understand the costs.
You're going to be my witness.
You're going to bring great glory to my name.
You're also going to be bound.
There's also going to be this tribulation and you're going to be in the hands of the Gentiles and God would give similar kinds of exhortations to Paul throughout the rest of that journey, and then on into Rome.
Or think about James James Chapter 3, verse one.
He says, my brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
Here's a ministry opportunity, you know, here's something good that you can do for the Lord great.
But but also evaluate that comes with.
A stricter judgment.
Understand the benefits and the challenges.
There's accountability with that and and you need to be able to accept.
Of those things, the benefits and the challenges.
And so following Jesus, we need to count the cost.
Moving to Texas.
Maybe there's some great benefits and promises.
There's also going to be some costs.
Going to that school marrying that person, serving in that ministry.
Evaluate what it is that the Lord is saying.
Understand where he's sending you.
Make sure that you come to terms with both sides of what the Lord is leading you into, not as an excuse to not obey the Lord.
But as preparation for what it is that God wants to do for you while moving on to verse 30, we get the Third Point today.
And that is true.
Conclusions will always require faith.
True conclusions always require faith.
Verse 30 says, then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.
It seems like there was some trouble.
In the congregation, as this report is being given because Caleb is quieting the people.
So the you know they hear about all these enemies, they hear about the challenges.
And there's like all of this rumbling and grumbling there within the congregation and and Caleb says quiet down, everybody quiet down quiet.
Down let's go up at once.
Let's take possession.
We are well able to overcome it.
Great boldness, great faith.
He says, let's go.
Now you have all the information.
Now you have all that we have explored and all that God has said.
We've researched the benefits and the challenges.
And receive all that God is promised to us.
He comes to a true conclusion.
We are well able to overcome it.
Not because he's looking at.
Their own strength, what their military might.
But he's looking at the promises of the Lord.
He's evaluated his claims.
He's seen the faithfulness of God.
And he says God has our backs.
He's going to do what he said he's going to do.
Let's go, let's go receive what God has promised to us.
Again, I think it's interesting to know and important to consider.
Caleb, one of these 12 spies.
Was part of that initial report that we just read.
He comes to a different conclusion than we'll see the other guys make in just a few moments.
But but understanding not just the benefits understanding the challenges, he says, let's go for it.
And that's important to consider because faith does not pretend that there are no challenges.
Faith doesn't have to pretend that there's no problems.
Faith doesn't have to pretend like everything is always going to be glorious with no difficulties whatsoever.
Faith includes the reality this is going to be really hard.
There's going to be fierce battles.
Some of us are going to die, but we're going to go and receive all that God has promised to us.
I often define faith as obedience to God.
At his word.
And this is where Caleb is at.
God has spoken.
God has told us what he's going to do.
He's told us to go in.
He told us he's going to give us a land.
Let's obey God at his word, that's faith, weighing the cost, weighing the benefits, weighing the word of God, and the claims of God in the promises of God and then obeying.
Not just because of the benefits.
But regardless of the 'cause, there's so many times that.
We have misunderstandings about faith.
Sometimes we refer to faith any time we're engaging in something where there's an uncertain outcome.
We don't exactly know what's going to happen, so I'm stepping out in faith.
And and that may or may not be faith.
My question in that scenario is.
Did God tell you to take that step?
The fact that it's uncertain doesn't make it faith.
It's faith when it's God who told you to do something and so you're doing it even though you don't know how it's going to turn out, but you're doing it because God told you to do it.
Faith is obedience to God at his word.
Many times wishful thinking is referred to as faith.
We're just trying to think positive and have positive energy and that's feet because you know nothing is going to touch us and and we have everything under control and everything is going to be OK.
And and it's just wishful thinking.
God hasn't told us that everything is going to be OK.
God hasn't told us right that that nothing is going to touch us necessarily like like we're believing something.
But not because God has told us we're believing it, 'cause it's what we want to be true.
That's not faith.
Faith is obedience to God at his word.
What has he said believe that?
And act on it.
That is faith.
And that's where key lives at.
He tells them later on in Chapter 14.
He says, look.
God delights in us.
He's giving this land to us.
Don't rebel against the Lord.
Don't fear the people of the land.
There are bread.
There are food.
Because God said so.
Their protection is departed from them, he says because God said so.
The Lord is with us.
He's told us that he's promised that he's declared that.
True conclusions will always require faith.
It's always going to require faith for us to believe God if we want to understand the truth.
Evaluating all the facts.
Understanding the pros and cons.
That in and of itself, you know if one list is longer than the other.
That's not the answer, right?
That doesn't bring about the conclusion.
The conclusion then, is OK, evaluating the benefits, evaluating the challenges and now factor in.
OK, what is God said about all of this?
Only then believing God at his word can we come to the right conclusion to the true conclusion.
I think we saw this lived out.
Before us not too long ago.
Early COVID days last year.
Man it was.
It was crazy watching the many false claims come out about faith in relation to COVID.
Now there's many false claims about everything COVID right?
Just like there's many false claims about everything in life, but over and over.
I heard this verse quoted in reference to this particular pandemic.
Psalm 9110 no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling, for he shall give his angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways.
And so this.
Was shared many times.
To say you will not get COVID you don't have to fear you don't.
You're not going to get sick, you know that's it's not possible because God made this promise.
I would encourage you go back to point number one.
You need to evaluate the claims.
This is not a general promise for every believer that no one will ever get sick.
That's just not the reality.
That's not what God has promised us.
And it's not faith to quote this verse in a pandemic.
It's just not now.
The Lord could speak to you personally about this.
He could move your heart upon this verse and by the Holy Spirit, speak directly to you and say.
You trusted me.
You're not going to get sick, and I'm going to protect you through it.
God can totally do that.
And then it's faith because God spoke to you directly personally, but that doesn't make it a promise for everybody.
It's not a general truth for all believers.
We need to be careful.
That's wishful thinking.
When we're thinking of it as a general truth for all believers, can I remind you martyrs in heaven are called victorious?
Martyrs in heaven are called victorious revelation, Chapter 12, verse 11.
Says they overcame him by the blood of the lamb by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to death the way that they were victorious was by dying.
That's not normally what we consider victory.
But that's the reality.
True conclusions will always require faith.
It's worth it for me to believe God and obey God and die for it, even if it costs me my life.
It's worth it for me to believe God and obey God.
And we need to be careful that we don't just.
Think of wishful thinking as faith.
And don't think that we're taking steps of faith.
Just 'cause we don't know the outcome in the direction we're in.
It's faith when it's obedience to God at his word, when it's something he has spoken to us about, whether it is a general command or instruction that is given to all believers or something specifically personally that he's spoken to us by the Holy Spirit.
Either way works.
Either way, it's faith.
But it's not faith.
If God hasn't spoken in either of those ways.
It's not faith if it's just.
Want to do where we want to happen?
We want to be fulfilled.
True conclusions will always require faith.
Moving on to the final point now versus 31 through 33, we get point #4. Unbelief always produces false conclusions. So here's the contrast to that. True conclusions will always require faith.
And the opposite is unbelief will always produce the wrong conclusions, or false conclusions, or false news. If you want to put it that way. Verse 31.
But the men who had gone up with him said we are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we and they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out saying the land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.
There we saw the Giants, the descendants of Anak, came from Giants.
And we were like grasshoppers in our own sight.
And so we were in their sight.
Here they give quite a different exhortation than what Caleb gives.
And again important note all 12 spies came back with the same facts.
They all had the same report, they just came to different conclusions.
Joshua and Caleb.
Reported these things with faith, believing what God had said, and we're ready to go.
Let's go take the land that God has given to us.
We've explored it. We know all the facts. We know the costs, we know the you know, challenges that are going to be there. But God's with us. So let's go.
The rest of the spies, the other ten, said we cannot go.
It tells us in verse 32 that they gave a bad report.
They came to a false conclusion.
And give a bad report same facts.
Same realities that the other guys were dealing with.
We're not believing God at his word.
Pastor David Guzik says their unbelieving response was a potent combination of truth, lies and exaggeration.
The combination of truth, lies and exaggeration.
They says we are not able to go up.
That wasn't the truth, that was a lie.
They are able to go up.
They told the truth.
They are stronger than we are, and that was the truth.
The people of the land were stronger than the nation of Israel.
But the fact that the people were stronger than the nation of Israel doesn't justify the lie that we are not able to go up.
The truth is they are stronger than we are, and the truth is.
We can go up because God has told us to go up.
Just because it doesn't look like we're going to win this battle.
The words told us he's going to win this battle for us.
So it is true they're stronger than us.
But it's a lie that we are not able to go up.
They told the lie that the land devours its inhabitants.
Like you, you read this and it's like you're picturing like a scene out of the Lord of the Rings.
The way they're describing it, right?
It's like you know this.
Ferocious land this ferocious territory.
They're marching, you know, to the.
Mordor and you know gonna face the fiery doom or I forget all the terms but anyways.
Like that's kind of what they're picturing, right?
It's an exaggeration.
All the people of of them are great stature.
All of them are now that's not true.
There were giants.
But not all of them.
They're now exaggerating. We saw the Giants, they said in verse 33 that was true. They saw giants.
But they weren't all Giants.
They also exaggerated the science.
We're like grasshoppers in their sights.
Now the Giants were giant, but they weren't that giant.
You can read the descriptions later on as we head into the book of Joshua, right, like there's Giants, but.
Not to the extent that we are grasshoppers and their giants.
It's an exaggeration.
It's not the reality.
But it's based on the fact that they did not believe God.
At his word.
And so no matter what the facts were, they're going to come to the wrong conclusion because they don't believe what God is said.
Unbelief always produces false conclusions.
It leads us astray.
It leads us away.
From the truth.
It keeps us in that place of deception.
And these guys are in chapter 14 are going to say hey, let's go back to Egypt.
That was great for us.
Let's go back there, right?
They're completely deceived.
Their understanding is clouded.
They do not believe God at his word.
And so for you and I this evening.
I would encourage us to consider.
Exploring the promised land.
The issue wasn't the exploration.
The issue was whether or not.
There was faith.
In what God had said, there was a confidence in that God would do what he said he would do.
I would suggest you God invites you to evaluate the truth of his claims.
He wants you to research it.
He wants you to dig into it.
Look into it.
Can you trust the Bible?
Can you believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life?
The only way to the father?
Can you believe that whatever that personal promise is that he's given to you the thing that he's put upon your heart and spoken to you personally?
Explore it, find out what are the pros and cons in that.
If you truly evaluate it, you're going to find out benefits and challenges you're going to see both sides if you really evaluate it.
Honestly, if you really.
Understanding what it is that God has set before you, there's always going to be.
Great blessings that God promises and challenges that are involved in that process as well.
And then come to the true conclusion.
It's gonna require faith.
Not wishful thinking.
Not you know, just.
Jumping forward when you don't know what's going to happen.
But moving forward in response to what God has said.
Factoring in all the information, understanding the pros and cons.
Understanding what it is that you're stepping into you believe God at his word and take that step.
If you continue on and unbelief.
You're always perpetually.
Going to be coming to the wrong conclusions.
And they might sound great.
I'm sure these guys they sounded great all of their reasons and rationale sounded great.
Made sense very logical, but completely wrong.
Because it left out.
What God had promised to then explore the promised land.
God's going to be faithful and he's going to fulfill his word to you. Let's pray, Lord, we thank you for your word and we thank you for your promises. Well, we thank you that.
You invite us.
To check these things out, to explore them and understand what it is that you set before us.
I pray God that you would protect us.
From a heart of unbelief, and Lord, where there is areas of struggle in US where we struggle to believe what it is that you've said.
I pray God that you would give us insight into that clarity into that Lord, so that we could properly evaluate and wrestle with and bring those things before you.
And allow you to change our heart, but that we might be men and women of faith.
Who believe you at your word, who step forward boldly?
Believing all of the promises and the blessings that are in store.
Lord, stepping forward boldly in spite of the challenges and costs that will be involved.
You at your word that it will be worth it.
And that all things will work together for good as we love you and are the called according to your purpose.
I pray this in Jesus name.