God Makes The Glass Half Full

“If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us” (Numbers 14:8)

Twelve men spy out the land of Canaan.  They see the same thing, and agree on their assessment of the land.  “It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.  However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large.  And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there”(Num 13:27-28).  Joshua and Caleb agree with this information; they have seen the same thing!

It is not the information that makes their message a “bad report”(Num 13:32).  It is their interpretation.  “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are”(Num 13:31).  Having seen the land, they are convinced that they will never take it.  Joshua and Caleb, by contrast, urge the people to trust God.  “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it”(Num 13:30).  And again, “If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey”(Num 14:8).  The difference in a good report (deserving of God’s favor) and a bad report (deserving of punishment) rests in their willingness to consider God.

It is possible for any two people to duplicate this experience.  An awful diagnosis causes despair in one, determination in another.  Church conflict breeds discouragement in one brother while another earnestly seeks to pick up the pieces.  My lack of Bible knowledge makes me sad while it motivates another.  What is the difference?  God makes the glass half full!

“If the LORD delights in us,” what is there that we cannot achieve?  What man is there to fear?  What circumstance is the last word?  How can we give up?  God’s presence, care, and power make every situation manageable—“we are well able to overcome it.” 

This is not a question of optimism or pessimism, but of the true nature of our faith.  Do we believe God is with us and delights in us?  God makes the glass half full!