This far we have examined three areas of resistance to God. First there is resistance to God’s rule, good as it is, in favor of conformity to everybody else. Second, God’s care – with manna, heavenly food, is rejected, in preference to toil and slavery. Third, fear and doubt prevail over God’s promises.
The spies – the explorers – and the people’s reaction to their report in Numbers 13 and 14 provide the best illustration of the third element. In the presence of the whole assembly, the explorers brought back their report: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its proof” (13:27).
Excellent report and with proof of its goodness! It sounds very positive. So what is the problem?
The little conjunction that follows, “but”, is the problem. It reverses what is positive into a negative. They saw giants. Not only that, but they felt like grasshoppers and believed that the giants saw them as such!
Everything positive and God’s promise evaporated because of fear. Next, we will see how all these elements adversely affect transformation.