Selwyn continues to look at the issue that God sometimes acts quickly to address our problems; and, at other times, He may allow a long time to pass before the difficult areas are resolved. In a very real sense, God created this universe and everything in it, in an ordered and planned way; there, is a confidence born out of our faith – that God acts in a perfect and holy way – at the right time – meaning that nothing, which affects our spiritual lives, is left to chance.
In today’s study, Selwyn points to two sections of the book of Joshua – where we see the above issue demonstrated. In Joshua 11:1-20, we read that Joshua waged war against some of the kings in Canaan for a long time. Compare this to Joshua 15:13-15 (NIV): “In accordance with the Lord’s command to him, Joshua gave to Caleb son of Jephunneh a portion in Judah – Kiriath Arba, that is, Hebron. (Arba was the forefather of Anak.) From Hebron Caleb drove out the three Anakites – Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai, the sons of Anak. From there he marched against the people living in Debir (formerly called Kiriath Sepher).” It appears that Caleb had completed these conquests in a relatively short space of time.
Now, Selwyn raises an interesting point; by referring to Numbers 13:27-33a, NIV: ‘They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”
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.”
But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). … ‘
The people who doubted God’s word did not understand that it was God’s plan for them to take possession of the land; and the very people who frightened the spies the most – by their power and size, were the same ones Caleb quickly defeated. Just as he predicted, before they had even entered the promised land. I think that God was demonstrating that there is nothing He can’t overcome – even if it appears impossible to us. Secondly, those who have confidence in God’s Word, will see His promises fulfilled.
The main fact to keep hold of – is that Jesus loves you – He will address your problems in a perfect and holy way; and, sometimes that means waiting a very, long time for a solution to unfold. We need to have the confidence that because of His love – He will act in a way that transforms and grows our ‘spiritual’ character into the image of Christ.