Week 36 Monday


Today’s scripture selection: Numbers 13-16

Key verses: Numbers 13:1-3; 28-29

They were Israel’s spies.  Their job was straightforward enough: to go into the Promised Land and bring back a report on what would be needed in order to conquer it.  They were, as the scriptures say, “leaders of the Israelites”.  I take that to mean they were well qualified for the job – certainly not cowards.

And what was their report?

“No Way!”

Oh, the land was to be desired, to be sure.

“But the people who live there are powerful and the cities are fortified and very large.  We even saw descendants of Anak there.”

And who was this Anak?

Anak was the legendary forefather of the Anakites, who were said to be a mixed race of giant people, descendants of the Nephilim, who had a colorful, supernatural history.

To put it more simply, the people occupying the Promised Land, were big, tough, and seemingly unbeatable.

It looked like the Israelites weren’t going to the Promised Land after all.  That is, until the spy named Caleb spoke up.  With great faith and determination he said it could be done.  And, in the end, he won the day – though not without considerable conflict among the people.

Is it so different for us today?

We look at the challenges before us; the destiny God has for us – and we become so easily overwhelmed.  We look at the odds; we crunch the numbers; we give up before we have even begun.

I think the people of the kingdom of God need to come at things differently.  We need to take Caleb’s lead.  We need to have a little faith.  After all, Jesus says that with just a tiny bit of that, entire mountains can be moved.

What’s your challenge today?  What’s threatening to discourage or defeat you?

I think you and God, together, can handle it.  Don’t you?

Prayer: Father, give me courage and faith to handle today’s and every day’s challenges.  AMEN.







By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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