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Who are you going to believe?

June 4, 2018

 

In Parashas Shelach, the stories of the spies are read in the Torah. Here in the middle of the desert the people aren’t sure about going into Israel. They’ve heard rumors, they are afraid. The unknown is always a bit scary. Even though God has been with them all along. From the slavery in Egypt, through the long years in the desert, the people are unsure if they can reach the promised land.

 

So, God says to Moses, ‘send forth men, if you please, and let them spy out the Land of Canaan.’ For me the key phrase is “if you please.” Fine, if you must, go look for yourself. I haven’t let you down before, but you still don’t trust yourself or your ability to overcome whatever challenge that comes your way.  

 

Who are you going to believe?

 

Why don’t we trust God?  Go ahead and look for yourself. Send your people and report back. This is exactly what happens. Spies go and check out the land, check out the cities and the people. It’s a time of harvest, how does it grow? Tell us what you see.

 

My sponsor tells me all the time, ‘you never have to drink again’. Of course, I know it’s true, but still I need more information. I go to meetings, and I listen to their stories. Every week, someone tells the story of going out, or just coming in. It sounds like its too much work. It doesn’t sound realistic.

 

Who are we going to believe?

 

That’s what the spies tell us. The cities are too strong, the people are giants. Yes, the fruit is amazing, but the work is too hard. How can we go from being slaves, after all this time in the desert, and still have the muscle to conquer the land?

 

Freedom is never free. It takes work, it takes risk and it requires us to overcome our fear. We hear of people failing all the time. The Children of Israel wept all night long. They couldn’t imagine a future different from the life they knew. I could never imagine living sober. I am sure I couldn’t convince everyone that they could live sober too.

 

But every now and again, we hear about hope. Caleb turns to Moses and says, “We shall surely ascend and conquer it, for we can surely do it!”  

 

Who are you going to believe?

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