And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
This was the seed of doubt in the men of Israel. In their minds, they were already losing a battle they hadn’t fought yet. They were imagining an outcome based upon what their reason and logic told them. They had examined all the evidence and come to their own conclusion, and so they were already defeated before they even took a step. And it is so often these attitudes of ours that cause us to give up, to not even try, and to stop short of what God really wants for us.
So often we expect failure before we even try because we are so aware of how weak we really are. We are all too aware of those things that lack in us, and we make up our own conclusions of what is going to happen instead of letting God write the story. We imagine all kinds of ways to fail instead of just trusting God. He had already given them the promise. He had scripted victory for Israel and blessing in this land. But they couldn’t see beyond what their eyes told them and the things they imagined in their hearts.
Our minds and imaginations can get us so worked up. The things we think might happen are often far from reality, but yet we allow ourselves to cycle through all these made-up scenarios that then only cause us to doubt God. When we are looking only to what we can accomplish on our own, we really should expect defeat. But we are not going out to face these challenges and battles alone. Almighty God leads us forth, and so we can move ahead with confidence instead of doubt or fear. But we have to choose to trust Him even when everything in us says that defeat is certain.
God hadn’t brought the people all this way to be killed and experience defeat, but He brought them there to experience a complete victory and to reap the blessings of that. But because of their doubts, they really did miss out. Because they refused to trust God and move ahead, they went backwards and experienced that death they were expecting. Let us not allow doubt or unbelief to cripple us, to paralyze us, or to hold us back from stepping forward into what God has for us. Let us remember that we don’t go in our own strength and ability. And let’s allow God’s truth to overcome these things we imagine in our hearts.