HEBRON: Abraham resides in Hebron, under oaks of Mamre
(Gen 13:18; 35:27). Sarah died there (Gen 23). Isaac, Jacob there (Gen 35; 37).
Anakim there, defeated by Joshua. City of refuge. David reigns there 7 1/2
years. Hebron today still populated. One of world's oldest cities still
ZOAN: There Moses met Pharaoh (Psa 78:12,43). Site, a
wilderness now. But important even as late as time of Isaiah (Isa 19:11,13;
30:14) and Ezekiel (Eze 30:14).
HEBRON HAD BEEN BUILT SEVEN YEARS BEFORE ZOAN IN EGYPT:
The city of Abraham and alliance and new covenant is older than city of slavery,
law, and priests. The "new covenant" (Abraham), though brought into effect last,
is actually "older" than the "old covenant" (Moses).
THEN CALEB SILENCED THE PEOPLE BEFORE MOSES AND SAID, "WE
SHOULD GO UP AND TAKE POSSESSION OF THE LAND, FOR WE CAN CERTAINLY DO IT":
"When the spies came back from exploring the land they made their report. It was
a good and fruitful land, the fruit was great -- it took two men to carry one
bunch of grapes! It was just as God had described it to them, 'a land flowing
with milk and honey.' The land was so good it had also produced giants and the
giants were the reason for the huge 'BUT' in the report of the spies. 'The land
is good,' they said, 'BUT the people who live there are powerful, and the cities
are fortified and very large... they are stronger than we are... The land we
explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great
size... we seemed as grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to
"All the people were distressed after this faithless report.
They had forgotten that God had rescued them from the strongest power on the
earth and had promised them the land. 'Then Caleb silenced the people before
Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can
certainly do it." '
"Often we come across seemingly impossible problems just as
Israel did in this case, and when we do, let us remember that with God's help
'we can certainly do it!' " (RP).
WE CAN'T ATTACK THOSE PEOPLE: This lament -- "We
CAN'T!" -- was the downfall of Israel. God never told them that they would have
to take the land by their own strength. The strength, the power, the ability,
all lay with Him and not with them! He had told them, "I will GIVE it to you"
(Exo 6:8; Lev 20:24). They had only to believe God's promises, and act upon
them. How often do we forget that "it is your father's good pleasure to GIVE
[us] the kingdom" (Luke 12:32)?
Men of faith, even though they have not as yet received God's
promises, may with the eye of faith see that fulfillment, even when it is "far
off". Then in spirit they "receive" those promises to themselves, and "embrace"
them, and act as though they are already theirs (Heb 11:13).
Ten men who failed to see God saw cities impregnably
Two men, looking "far off" to God, saw doom for those cities
Ten men who failed to see God saw giants frightfully
Two men, looking "far off" to God, saw giants as grasshoppers
Ten men who failed to see God reported, "We're certain to
Two men, looking "far off" to God, cried, "Up! for with God we
Ten men who failed to see God discouraged their brother
Two men perceived God everywhere; are you of the two -- or the
WE SEEMED LIKE GRASSHOPPERS IN OUR OWN EYES, AND WE LOOKED
THE SAME TO THEM: "None of the children of Israel had ever been into the
land of Canaan. God had promised to take them there and described it as a land
flowing with milk and honey -- something they could only dream about. Now, as
Moses sent the twelve spies into the land, they were the first people to see it
for themselves. Their report was just what the people had hoped for. 'We went
into the land to which you sent us and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is
its' fruit.' And at that stage they would have showed the people the huge bunch
of grapes they picked, carried between two men. This was the first glimpse of
the promised land for the children of Israel.. They hadn't seen it themselves
yet, but it was certainly an exciting foretaste.
"Like Israel, God has given us little glimpses of the kingdom
through His word and His creation -- enough to whet our appetites and know that
the kingdom is what we really want.
"But when they heard of the challenges that faced them going
into the land, they chickened out. They thought it would be too hard. And,
unfortunately many people who have heard what God has offered also chicken out
when they find out that it will take effort and faith to receive what God has
"So let's be like Joshua and Caleb whose faith in action
allowed them to receive the promised land" (RP).