Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
We heard a true story today at Stonepoint about a dam here in the Dallas area. it seems that with all the rain back in 2014 that one of the large local dams was in danger of breaking and causing a major flood. People were concerned of course, because the damage and loss of life could have been extensive. But what the engineers found when they inspected the dam was that the erosion of the dam didn’t happen all at once. It had been going on for a couple of decades, but no one noticed until it was almost too late.
We heard this story in conjunction with our studies in the book of Hebrews at Stonepoint today. Hebrews is a really good book and has a lot for us to learn and apply to our lives. Basically, according to one commentator, Hebrews contains five admonitions for God’s people. I’d like to list them for us:
Drifting from the Word–Hebrews 2:1-4 (neglect)
Doubting the Word–Hebrews 3:7–4:13 (heard heart)
Dullness toward the Word–Hebrews 5:11–6:20 (sluggishness)
Despising the Word–Hebrews 10:26–39 (willfulness)
Defying the Word–Hebrews 12:14-29 (refusing to hear)
Today we basically covered doubting the Word and having a hard heart. To get the background we need to go back to Numbers chapters 13 and 14. These are two of my favorite chapters in the Bible! You are probably familiar with these chapters. The people are on the verge of going into the promised land when Moses decided to send out twelve spies to check out the land. The spies returned with the report that the land was indeed, a good land. But there were also fortified cities and giants in the land. Ten of the twelve spies said that it was impossible to take the land. Joshua and Caleb said the land was there’s for the taking as God had already promised. For their stance, the people almost stoned Joshua and Caleb. God became angry and and would not that entire generation go into the promised land. Instead, they would spend 40 years walking around in the desert until they all died out. Then God would bring a new generation into the land.
So what’s the lesson for us today. It’s simply that we cannot afford to doubt God’s word. The people of Israel, almost from the moment they stepped out of Egypt. Doubted and challenged God’s Word. Moses tried to keep the people were just too hard hearted. I believe they actually thought they knew more than God. Their downfall did not come as a large explosion. It came as a slow and quiet erosion. Just like the children of Israel, when we start doubting God’s Word, we are on a slow course to erosion. At it’s completion, we have a heard heart that no longer wants to believe the Word.
Now we know the problem, so what is the solution? I can’t and won’t pretend to have the answers. Staying faithful to God and His Word has been as much of a challenge for me as for anyone else. But here are a couple of things that might help us:
First, we need to take heed of what we read. (I really didn’t intend to make that rhyme). And we need to read consistently. Like the dam I mentioned in the beginning, the damage didn’t happen all at once. It happened over a good amount of time and it went unknown for many years. The same is true of drifting from the Word. Satan will use our drifting from the Word and turn it into doubt. Numbers 13 and 14 is not just a good, interesting and sad story. In those two chapters of utter failure on the part of the people of Israel, there is one glimmer of hope. We need to be like Caleb: “But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.” (Numbers 14:24). In other words, Caleb didn’t drift away from and then doubt God’s Word like the other spies. The result for him was that out of that generation, only he and Joshua entered the promise land.
Second, we need to apply faith to what we read. We can read the Word every day and it won’t do one thing to help our spiritual growth. One commentary that I read says that we need to apply “dynamic faith” to what we read. What is dynamic faith? The commentator had this to say, “Dynamic faith is based on God’s Word, and it involves the whole person. Dead faith touches only the intellect; demonic faith involves both the mind and the emotions. but dynamic faith involves the will.” (Wiersbe). Dyamic faith involves our mind, emotions and will. True faith causes us to obey and it leads to action. I believe this is what the Bible means when it says, “faith without works is dead.” True faith is demonstrated by His people doing something that brings glory to God.
Caleb believed God, put that faith to work and settled in the promised land. As we obey God’s Word and apply dynamic faith to our lives we too, will enter the promised land. Although our promised land will not be a land. It will be our spiritual inheritance with Jesus Christ and we will live with Him forever!! This is not our home!!!! Our home will be so much better as to be unimaginable. How truly glorious that will be!!