When the Fruit of Your Lips Contradicts the Fruit of the Land

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Numbers which was written and recorded by Moses the servant of the Lord. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters twelve through fourteen of this Old Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find it beginning and opening with Miriam and Aaron—the brother and sister of Moses—murmuring and complaining against him because of an Ethiopian woman whom he had taken as wife. Also included in this particular portion of Scripture is the command given by the LORD unto Moses that he raise up, appoint and separate from among the twelve tribes of Israel one from each tribe who would enter into the land of Canaan in order that they might spy out the land. With these men spying out the land they were also to bring back from the midst of the land some of the fruit which grew therein, as well as a report from their time in the land. What we find within the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters is that these twelve men were commanded and instructed of the LORD to bring back two specific things from the midst of the land—the first was fruit from the midst of the land, while the second was a report concerning the land itself. BRINGING BACK FRUIT AND A WORD! It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this absolutely remarkable and astounding reality, for this is actually quite unique when you think about that which the living God of the Hebrews commanded these twelve men to fulfill and accomplish within the land. While it was indeed and was in fact true the living God had instructed and commanded them to enter into the land that they might spy out the land, it was also true that these twelve men were to enter into the land and leave bearing with them two very distinct realities—one which was a tangible reality which the congregation of the children of Israel could look upon with their eyes and behold, and one which was unseen by and with the natural eye. When and as these twelve spies returned from the midst of the land of Canaan after spending forty days therein they were to return to the wilderness and return unto the congregation of the children of Israel bringing with them two realities which should have instilled faith, trust and confidence in the hearts and souls of the living God. When the twelve spies returned from scouting out and spying the land of Canaan they would bring back with them unto the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel a reality they could see with their eyes, and reality they could perhaps touch and handle with their hands, and a reality which they might have even been able to taste of with their mouths. Moreover, when the twelve spies which entered into the land of Canaan, spent forty days scouting out and spying on the land, and returned unto the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel they would bring back something additional that was intangible and something that could not be observed with the senses.

It’s actually quite interesting to think about and consider the command which was given unto the twelve spies, for it was true they were sent into the land to spy upon both the land and the inhabitants thereof, however, there was something much greater and something much larger which was at work among them in their midst. If you begin reading with and from the seventeenth verse of the thirteenth chapter you will find Moses speaking unto the twelve men who were chosen from among the twelve tribes of Israel and giving them a very clear and specific command they were to obey when entering into the land of Canaan. Consider if you will the words found in the thirteenth chapter of this book and specifically beginning with the seventeenth verse:

“And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: and see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; and what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; and what the land is whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes” (Numbers 13:17-20).

The words which are found within this particular passage of Scripture actually helps underline and underscore the purpose for the twelve spies to enter into the land of Canaan at the command and instruction of the living God. It was the living God who instructed Moses to have twelve spies enter into the land of Canaan, but there assignment within the land of Canaan was so much greater than simply entering into the midst of it and spying it out. The command and instruction given unto the twelve spies which were to enter into the land of Canaan was to scout and spy out the land of Canaan prior to the children of Israel marching up into it to take possession of and inherit it, however, before the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel could enter into the land of Canaan these twelve spies would return from their time within the land, and would bring back two things which were designed and intended on speaking directly unto the congregation of the children of Israel. It wasn’t enough for the twelve spies to enter into the land of Canaan alone, for upon their return to the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel they were to return unto them with that which was tangible and that which was intangible, that which could be seen with the eyes and that which could only been seen and beheld with and by the eyes of faith. The more I read and the more I consider the words which are found within this chapter the more I come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that the twelve spies would have returned unto the children of Israel with a report in their hearts and a report in their mouths, as well as fruit from the land in which they had spent forty days. What I can’t help but recognize and understand is that before the twelve spies brought back a report unto the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel and spoke that report with and from their mouths they first brought that report back within their hearts. If there is one thing we must understand and consider concerning the twelve spies within the land of Canaan it’s that while it was true they would bring back a report concerning both the land, as well as the inhabitants therein, and would speak that report with their mouths, they would first bring forth that report within their hearts. There is something incredibly interesting which is found within the New Testament gospel narratives and accounts concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, for within the gospels we find Jesus the Christ drawing a clear connection and link between that which is spoken from the mouth and that which is found within the heart.

If we are going to truly understand that which is found within the thirteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers we must understand this strong link and connection between that which is found within our hearts and that which proceeds forth from our mouth. What’s more, is that if you want to truly understand the condition and nature of your heart you need only listen to and examine the words which proceed forth from your lips. I am completely and thoroughly convinced that the single greatest test and measure of what the condition of your heart and what the condition of my heart is, is the words which proceed forth from our mouths. There is perhaps no greater litmus test and plum line for the condition of our hearts than the words proceed forth from our mouths, for what proceeds from our mouths is a reflection of what is in and what is the condition of our hearts. There would be those who would dare say they cannot truly understand the nature and condition of their hearts, and yet I am completely and utterly convinced that such a statement is neither rooted in reality, nor is rooted in Scripture. The four gospel narratives and accounts concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ demonstrate the absolutely undeniable truth that the greatest measuring line and the greatest litmus test of the condition of our hearts is that which proceeds forth from our mouths. Permit me to ask you a very pointed and powerful question—the question of when the last time you actually truly listened to the condition of your heart by listening to the words which proceed from your mouth. When was the last time you truly listened to the words which proceed forth from your mouth and actually took the time to think about and meditate upon them? What’s more, is when was the last time you listened to the words which come forth from your mouth that you might recognize, discern and understand the nature and condition of your heart? With these questions at the forefront of your mind I invite you to think about and consider the words which were spoken by our Lord Jesus the Christ—words which draw a clear connection between the heart and the words which proceed forth from our mouths:

“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil. Speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh?” (Matthew 12:34).

“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And He called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Then came His disciples and said unto Him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But He answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Then answered Peter and said unto Him, Declare unto us this parable. And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man” (Matthew 15:7-20),

“For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:43-45).

It is quite clear from the words which are found within these chapters that that which proceeds forth and that which comes out of the mouth is a true reflection of the heart. I would dare say that as water reflects a man’s face and a man’s image, so also does the mouth reflect man’s heart. There is no truer reflection of the condition of one’s heart and what is found within one’s heart than the words which proceed forth from the midst of it, for nothing proceeds forth from the mouth that was not already and originally within the heart. When we think about the words that proceed forth from our mouths—regardless of whether those words are good and edifying, or whether those words are evil and discouraging—they proceed forth from our lips. We would be incredibly wise to understand and consider this, for when you read the words found within the Old Testament book of Numbers and concerning the report which the twelve spies brought back unto the congregation you will find that they brought back more than fruit from the land, but they also brought back the fruit of their hearts. THE FRUIT OF THE MOUTH IS A REFLECTION OF THE GARDEN OF THE HEART! THE FRUIT OF THE MOUTH IS A REFLECTION OF THE SOIL OF THE HEART! THE FRUIT OF THE MOUTH IS A REFLECTION OF THE FRUIT OF THE HEART! There is not a doubt in my mind that the twelve spies which returned from the land of Canaan each brought back the fruit of their hearts, and the fruit of their hearts would indeed would in fact be the fruit of their mouths and would determine the words which they spoke unto the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand that while the twelve spies brought forth from the land of Canaan the fruit of the land itself, they brought back a different type of fruit—one that was unseen with the natural eye, and one that could only be witnessed when it proceeded forth from their mouths. If the twelve spies had kept their mouths shot and did not speak concerning their belief and conviction, they would not have revealed the nature and condition of their hearts. If the twelve spies had remained silent after spending forty days within the land of Canaan and had not opened their mouths to speak unto the congregation of the children of Israel the nature and condition of their hearts would have remained unknown unto Moses, unto Aaron, and unto the entire congregation of the children of Israel. It was, however, when they opened their mouths that the true nature and condition of their hearts were revealed and exposed before the congregation of the children of Israel.

WHEN THE FRUIT OF YOUR LIPS DOESN’T LINE UP WITH THE FRUIT OF THE LAND! I sit here this morning and consider the words which are found within this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but think about and consider the absolutely undeniable reality that while it is true the twelve spies brought back fruit from the land, there were only two of the twelve spies who had the fruit of their lips line up with the fruit of the land. There were ten other spies who brought back the same fruit of the land, and yet the fruit of their lips and that which proceeded forth from their mouths did not line up with the manifestation and evidence of the fruit of the land. This is something we must think about and consider, for when we speak about the fruit of the land and the fruit of the lips we must understand that there is a go between and that which the fruit of the land passes through before it becomes the fruit of our lips—the heart that is within us. If I am being honest with you who are reading the words found within these chapters I would dare state that even though you might behold the fruit of the land, and even though you might have removed fruit from the land and brought it back with you to the assembly of God’s people—that doesn’t mean that the fruit of your lips will match the fruit of the land. I firmly believe and am absolutely and completely convinced that the fruit of the land—regardless of how great and how abundant it might be—must always pass through the lens and filter of your heart. If that which proceeds forth from your lips does not line up with the fruit which you have witnessed and beheld with your eyes then the underlying concern is not with the fruit of the land, but with the condition of your heart. The twelve spies brought back fruit from the midst of the land, and yet the fruit which they brought back from the land had to pass through their heart and the filter of their heart. What’s more, is that the condition of their heart would determine whether the fruit of their lips would line up and match the fruit of the land, or if the fruit of their lips would be contrary to the fruit of the land. The twelve spies returned from the land of Canaan after spending forty days in the midst thereof, and even after bringing back a cluster of grapes which required two men to carry between them on a pole, and yet despite the physical and tangible fruit they witness and brought back, there were those who brought forth fruit from the evil of their hearts. Despite the fact the fruit of the land was good and was indeed abundant, there were twelve spies who brought back fruit within themselves which was evil, for their hearts were evil. WHEN EVIL HEARTS BRING BACK GOOD FRUIT! If there is one thing we must recognize and consider when reading the words found within this passage of Scripture, it’s that it was indeed possible for ten of the spies to bring back from the land of Canaan good fruit externally and good fruit in the natural, however, those ten men brought back good fruit from the land, and yet the fruit within their own hearts was evil in the sight of the living God.

This reality and concept concerning the twelve spies which entered into the land of Canaan is actually quite remarkable and astonishing when you take the time to think about it, for although they all brought back fruit from the land in which they entered—only two brought back a report that lined up with the fruit they brought back. What’s more, is that of the twelve spies which entered into the land of Canaan—only two came back with a report that was brought forth from the good that was in their hearts. In fact, you will later find the LORD speaking concerning Caleb that there was a different spirit within him—a reality which I would also dare say would have been true of Joshua. Twelve spies entered into the land of Canaan and spent forty days within the land, and the twelve spies brought back from the midst of the land, and yet there were two other types of fruit that were brought back from the land—fruit that was different from the grapes, figs and pomegranates which were brought back from the land. If we are being completely and utterly honest with ourselves and with the living God we must acknowledge and admit that there was a certain type of fruit that was found within the hearts of Caleb and Joshua, while there was also most certainly a different type of fruit that was found within the other ten spies. In the New Testament gospel narratives concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ we find Jesus speaking of bringing forth the good that is found within one’s heart, while we also find Jesus speaking of bringing forth the evil in one’s heart. What’s more, is that Jesus would also go on to declare that it would be by the fruit others produce and bring forth we would truly and indeed know them. It should be noted and pointed out that the ten spies were known for one type of fruit that proceeded forth from their mouths, while Joshua and Caleb were known for the fruit which proceeded forth from their mouths. WHAT FRUIT ARE YOU BRINGING BACK FROM THE PROMISED LAND? It might be written concerning the cluster of grapes that it took two men carrying it between them on a pole which they bore upon their shoulders, however, I would dare say that for the ten spies who brought back an evil report unto the congregation of Israel, the fruit within their hearts weighed much more and was far heavier than the cluster of grapes they brought unto the congregation. THE WEIGHT OF THE FRUIT OF YOUR HEART! HOW MUCH DOES THE FRUIT IN YOUR HEART WEIGH? HOW MUCH DOES THE FRUIT OF YOUR HEART WEIGH?

THE FRUIT OF THE LAND, THE FRUIT OF THE HEART! THE REPORT OF THE MOUTH, THE REPORT OF THE HEART! THE HEART IS THE FILTER OF THE EXPERIENCE! THE FRUIT OF THE LAND FLOWS FIRST THROUGH THE HEART AND THEN PROCEEDS FROM THE MOUTH! With all of this being said, I feel it absolutely necessary to call and direct your attention to the words which James the half-brother of Jesus wrote in the third chapter of the epistle found in the New Testament. As you read this epistle you will find him tackling and wrestling with faith and works and the interconnectedness of the two, and yet when you come to the third chapter of the epistle you will find James writing concerning something which is directly linked and connected—not only to the words which were spoken by Jesus, but also to this experience and narrative which is found in the Old Testament book of Numbers. Consider if you will the words which are recorded in this third chapter beginning with the first verse of the chapter:

“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey s; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Either r a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh” (James 3:1-12).

WHAT FRUIT IS GREATER? WHEN THE FRYIT OF YOUR LIPS DOESN’T LINE UP WITH THE FRUIT OF THE LAND! A TALE OF TWO REPORTS! THE REVELATION OF REPORTS! THE REPORT REVEALS THE NATURE OF YOUR HEART! As you continue to work your way through these chapters you will find that the living God had spoken unto Moses and instructed him to send twelve spies into the land of Canaan that they might bring back report concerning the land. What I find to be incredibly interesting is whether or not Moses expected the twelve spies to be in agreement when they returned unto the congregation of the children of Israel. When Moses sent these twelve men into the land that they might spy both the land and the inhabitants therein, did he expect them to bring back a report that would bring glory and honor before and unto the living God? We know from reading the words found within these chapters that when the twelve spies returned unto the congregation of the children of Israel they were divided between themselves concerning what they saw in the land, and whether or not they would be able to stand in the face of that which was seen in the land. WHAT DO YOU SEE? WHAT ARE YOU SEEING? It’s quite intriguing and astounding to think about and consider the fact that when all the twelve spies which entered into the land returned unto the congregation of the children of Israel they did so having all seen and witnessed the same thing within the land. We must recognize that the ten spies didn’t see something different from Joshua and Caleb and that somehow Joshua and Caleb had spied out a different part of the land. I have to admit that I am absolutely and utterly gripped and captivated with and by that which I find and read within these chapters for while it is true that all the twelve spies saw the same thing within the land when they entered and as they journeyed in the midst of it, they actually didn’t see the same thing. I fully realize and recognize that this might seem like an apparent contradiction considering what I just wrote, however, there is a vast and fundamental difference between what we see with our eyes in the natural and we see with our faith in the supernatural. Remember in the New Testament when the author of the epistle unto the Hebrews wrote that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen? These are more simply rote words and words which have absolutely no meaning behind them. The author which the epistle written unto the Hebrews was conveying was that faith is more than simply that which we say and profess we have, but it is actually the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen. It is this reality and aspect of that which is unseen and that which is hoped for that must be carefully considered when reading these chapters, for these two chapters show a strong and powerful contrast between that which we see and behold with our eyes and see with our eyes only, and that which we do in fact see with our eyes, yet see with more than simply our eyes and see through the lens of faith.

I sit here this morning thinking about and considering that which we find and read within these chapters and I can’t help but be directly and immediately be confronted with the powerful and tremendous reality that there is a vast difference between that which we see with our eyes alone and that which we see with our eyes, but also see with our faith. There is not a doubt in my mind that what we see with our eyes passes through one of two lenses—either the lens of faith trusting and believing in God, or the lens of feet which doubts the promise and power of the living God. When and as we think about the words found within these chapters we must understand and recognize that when the twelve spies entered into the land, there wasn’t somehow something different the ten spies witnessed and beheld which the Joshua and Caleb somehow did not see. We dare not, we cannot and must not think about and consider for one moment that the ten spies who brought back an evil and negative report before and unto the people somehow saw something which Joshua and Caleb did not see and were somehow justified in their report and assessment of the land. It would be very easy to think about and consider the fact that the ten spies which brought back a different report then Joshua and Caleb did so because they somehow saw and observed something that Joshua and Caleb didn’t see. We don’t find a disagreement emerging between the ten spies and Joshua and Caleb concerning what they saw in the land while they were on their way back to the congregation of the children of Israel. When Moses raised up and separated unto himself these twelve men he did so with a very specific command concerning what they were to do once they were within the land of Canaan. If you begin reading with and from the seventeenth verse of the thirteenth chapter you will find Moses speaking directly unto these twelve spies and giving them the following command concerning their entrance and movement within and throughout the land:

“And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: and see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether thy be strong or weak, few or many; and what the land is that they well in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; and what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, or whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land” (Numbers 13:17-20).

We must recognize and consider the words which Moses spoke unto Joshua, Caleb and the other ten spies, for when he sent them up into the land of Canaan, he did so instructing them to bring back a report concerning the land—a report that described whether the land was indeed good or bad, whether the inhabitants live in tents or strongholds, whether the land be fat or lean, and whether there be wood in the land or not. What’s more, is that Moses commanded and instructed them to bring back from the midst of the land fruit which they would show and reveal unto the congregation of the children of Israel. With this command Moses also spoke unto the twelve spies and instructed them to be of good courage, and I can’t help but wonder and think within my heart whether or not Moses instructed them to be of good courage (a similar command that the living God would later speak unto Joshua after he succeeded Moses who died in the land of Moab). We don’t know for certain why Moses instructed the twelve spies to be of good courage, however, we might be able to deduce that he did so because he wasn’t sure what they would see when they entered into the land. Up until that moment in time none of the congregation of the children of Israel had seen the land which the LORD their God was going to bring them into to take possession of as their inheritance. Up to that point there was none living among them who had ever seen the land of Canaan and could in fact reveal unto the congregation of the children of Israel concerning the land and its inhabitants. Moses raised up twelve spies from among the twelve tribes of the congregation of the children of Israel in order that those twelve spies might enter into the land which none of them had ever entered before and bring back a report concerning the land. Moses knew the inhabitants which dwelt in the midst of the land, for the LORD had spoken unto and revealed unto Moses concerning those who lived and dwelt within the land, however, there was absolutely no revelation concerning those which dwelt within the land. I happen to find it absolutely intriguing and interesting when you read the words within these Old Testament books that when the living God spoke unto Moses concerning the land which the children of Israel were going in to take possession of as an inheritance, He never revealed unto him what the peoples, what the nations, what the enemies and what the adversaries which dwelt in the midst of the land were like. Nowhere will you find the living God revealing unto Moses anything else concerning the nations and peoples which dwelt and inhabited the land save only their names. The LORD revealed nothing about strong and fortified cities with walls. The LORD revealed nothing about the descendants of Ana living and dwelling within the land. The LORD revealed nothing about the inhabitants of the land being stronger and mightier than the congregation of the children of Israel. The only thing we know the living God revealed unto the congregation of the children of Israel through Moses was that there were indeed inhabitants which were found in the midst of the land, and the names of those enemies and adversaries which dwelt within the land.

When Moses raised up and sent twelve spies to enter into the land in order that they might spy out the land and bring back a report concerning the land, he himself had not seen the land which the congregation of the children of Israel were to enter. It wasn’t as though Moses had somehow entered into the land and had witnessed and beheld the land and therefore sent twelve additional men to enter into the land to confirm what he had already seen. Moses sent these twelve spies into the land of Canaan, however, he didn’t send them into the land in order that they might confirm what he had seen within the land, nor even what he had heard from the LORD concerning the land. Please don’t miss this absolutely incredible reality, for up to this point—no one had seen the land into which they were going to enter to take possession of it as their inheritance, nor had anyone received any revelation of the LORD concerning the land. The report which the twelve spies would bring back before the congregation of Israel, and unto Moses and Aaron would be the only firsthand record and firsthand account of that which was found within and in the midst of the land. There is not a doubt in my mind that the twelve spies who entered into the land of Canaan to spy it out had a tremendous responsibility which was placed upon their shoulders, for not only would they be the only ones from among the congregation of the children of Israel who would actually see the land of promise, but they would also have to bring back word and report concerning the land. An entire generation and an entire congregation and assembly would proceed according to the report and firsthand witness and account which these twelve spies brought back when they returned from their time within the land. Pause for a moment and think about and consider what an absolutely incredible and tremendous responsibility these twelve spies would have had upon returning unto the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel, for they would not speak concerning what they believed concerning the land without having entered into it, but they would speak concerning what they witnessed and observed within the land with their own eyes. The twelve spies would return from forty days of spying out the land—not only with fruit from the land, but they would also return with a second kind of fruit—namely, the fruit of their lips which was produced within the soil of their hearts. The twelve spies would return unto Moses, Aaron and unto the congregation of the children of Israel and would provide a detailed description and account of the land of Canaan and would relay unto them exactly what they saw while they were in the land.

How absolutely incredible it is to think about the fact that not only would these twelve spies enter into the land and spend forty days within the land, but they would also be asked to bring back fruit from the land, as well as bring back a report concerning the land. We must recognize and understand that there was that which these twelve spies brought back from the midst of the land of Canaan which was tangible and visible to the natural eye, but there was also that which wasn’t tangible with the natural eye, and would and could only be seen with the heart. Concerning these twelve spies we must recognize and remember that when they returned unto the congregation of the children of Israel, they did so bearing fruit from the land—a cluster of grapes, figs and pomegranates—and showed the fruit of the land unto the congregation of the children of Israel. What we must also recognize and understand, however, is that there was a different type of fruit that would be brought back unto the congregation of the children of Israel—one that would not be seen with the natural and physical eyes, but one that would be seen through the eyes of faith or doubt. We must acknowledge and understand the fact that the congregation of the children of Israel would hear concerning the land of Canaan the words which these twelve spies brought back and spoke unto them, for none of them would themselves enter into the land to see it before they were to go up and take possession of it. It is absolutely fascinating to think about and consider the fact that the twelve spies which entered into and spent forty days within the land of Canaan, and they did in fact bring back tangible fruit from the midst of the land, however, there was that which they brought back which could be observed with the natural senses, but there was a different type of fruit they would bring back before and unto the congregation of the children of Israel. It’s quite astounding to think about and consider the fact that the twelve spies brought back the same type of tangible fruit from the midst of the land, however, even more than this we must acknowledge that they each brought back a different kind of secondary fruit. While it is true the twelve spies brought back the same type of fruit from the midst of the land, there were ten who brought back one type of fruit from their lips, while Joshua and Caleb brought back a different type of fruit from their lips. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this absolutely incredible reality, for it has the ability to dramatically alter and shift your line of thinking and what you believe within your own life. If you continue reading with and from the thirteenth chapter you will find the fruit which ten of the spies brought back from the land and delivered unto the people, while there was another type of fruit Joshua and Caleb brought unto and before the people. Consider if you will the words which are found in this chapter beginning with the twenty-sixth verse:

“And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, unto Kaddish; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. And they told them, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cites are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Ana there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan” (Numbers 13:26-29).

“but the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the son of Ana, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:31-33).

As you read the words which are found within these two portion of Scripture you will quickly encounter and come face to face with the fruit which ten of the spies brought back unto the congregation of the children of Israel, and unto Moses and Aaron. What I find to be so absolutely incredible about that which is in these two passages is that the report began with the ten spies declaring unto the congregation of the children of Israel that the land into which they were sent did in fact flow with milk and honey, and it transitioned to the place where they showed the fruit of the land which they had brought back with them. Initially the report and word which these ten spies brought back unto the congregation of the children of Israel seemed to be that which would be pleasing and honoring in the sight of the LORD, however, if you continue reading you will discover that despite the land flowing with milk and honey, and despite their bringing back the fruit of the land, these ten spies began speaking concerning the inhabitants of the land how the people within the land were strong, and that the cities were walled and very great. What’s more is these ten spies also went on to declare that they saw the children of Ana within the land, and where the inhabitants of the land dwelt. Furthermore, they would go on to declare that the land into which they were sent ate up the inhabitants thereof, and all the people which were present within the land were men of a great stature. Interestingly enough, the ten spies which returned with Joshua and Caleb would again mention the giants which were found to be within the land, for they again spoke of their seeing the giants, the sons of Anak which were come of the giants, and how they were in their own sight as grasshoppers. What I find to be so absolutely incredible and what I believe is the crux of the entire matter is found in the thirty-third and final verse of the thirteenth chapter. If you read the final verse of this chapter you will find the ten spies not only speaking of that which they saw according to their own sight, but we also find them speaking concerning that which their enemies saw in them as well. IN THE SIGHT OF YOUR ENEMIES! IN THE SIGHT OF YOUR OWN EYES! Please don’t miss and lose sight of that which is found in the final verse of this chapter for it is the lynchpin of the entire report and word which these ten spies brought back unto the congregation of the children of Israel. The words which are found within this final verse not only speaks concerning that which the ten spies saw in their own natural eyes and with their own sight, but also that which the enemies saw with their eyes and with their own sight.

I sit here this morning and I can understand that which the ten spies spoke concerning that which they saw according to their own sight, however, what I don’t quite understand is what they spoke concerning what the sons of Anak, which descended from the giants saw with their own eyes. If the ten spies brought back a negative report unto the congregation of the children of Israel, and if they were in fact fearful because of the sons of Anak, which descended from the giants were present in the land, I would dare say that none of them actually interacted with the giants which were present within the land. Maybe they did. Maybe when the twelve spies entered into the land to observe and spy it out they did in fact interact with the inhabitants of the land, for in the Old Testament book of Joshua we find the two spies which entered into the city of Jericho interacted with Rahab the harlot, for Rahab hid them upon the roof of her house underneath hay and straw. It is quite possible the twelve spies might have interacted with the inhabitants of the land, and even interacted with the sons of Anak, however, one thing we can be absolutely certain of is that they wouldn’t have revealed unto them the true nature of their time within the land. I do not believe for one moment that if these twelve spies entered into the land of Canaan, and if they interacted with the inhabitants of the land, they revealed the nature and purpose of their visit within and in the midst of the land. With that being said, it’s absolutely important for us to read the words which are found within this chapter and not only observe the two different types of fruit that were brought back from the twelve spies—the fruit of the lips which proceeded forth from the mouths of Caleb and Joshua, as well as the fruit of the lips which proceeded forth from the mouths of the other ten spies—but we also observe the two different types of sight which was found in the midst of the land. As you read the words found within these chapters you will quickly observe and come face to face with the fact that the ten spies which brought back the negative report spoke of that which they saw with their own eyes and that which their sight would reveal unto them. What’s more, is the fact that these ten spies would also go on to speak of and reveal what they the sons of Anak which descended from the giants saw with their own eyes and observed concerning those who were within the land.

The more I read the words which are found within this passage the more I can’t help but come face to face with the absolutely remarkable and tremendous fact that this passage center and hinge upon two distinct and two realities—the first being that of the different types of fruit which the twelve spies brought back from the land, as well as that of sight. If we are going to understand that which is found within these chapters we must come face to face with the fact that the report which the ten spies brought back was based on sight and that which they saw with their natural eyes, while the report which Joshua and Caleb brought back was not based on sight, but was based on faith, was based on confidence and was based on trust in the living God. We dare not forget that which is written within the Scriptures and how we who are Christ’s walk not by sight, but by faith. Oh there is a vast and fundamental difference between walking by faith and walking by sight, and if we allow our lives to be governed by what we see in the natural—perhaps even what we don’t see in the natural—we might very well find the fruit of our lips being out of alignment with the divine word of God and that which was spoken by Him. When we think about faith we must recognize and understand that not only does faith touch upon the realm of what is unseen, as the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote how it is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. With that being said, we must understand that faith also touches the realm of what we do in fact see with our natural eyes, for it is our faith which determines what we think and what we believe concerning what we see with our natural eyes. When and as we speak about faith we must understand that we do not walk by sight but by faith, and we do understand that is the evidence of things which are unseen, however, we must recognize and understand that faith touches and encompasses that which we see with our natural eyes, as well as that which we cannot and do not see with our natural eyes. The twelve spies all entered into the land, and they all beheld the fruit of the land, and they all beheld the inhabitants of the land, and yet the fruit of the lips of ten of the spies was directly influenced by fear, while the fruit of the lips of Joshua and Caleb was influenced by faith—faith in spite of what they had seen with their natural and faith in what they had not yet seen, but what they believed they would and could see. Concerning that which we might very well see with our natural eyes we must recognize and understand that faith not only touches that which we cannot see and that which we have not yet seen, but it also at the same time touches that which we do see with our natural eyes. Joshua and Caleb saw the same things the other ten spies saw when they entered into the land, however, they saw that which was not seen, and that which would and could be seen according to the pleasure and promise of the LORD. Consider if you will the words which Joshua and Caleb brought back unto the congregation of the children of Israel in contrast to that which the ten spies brought back with their mouths:

“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30).

“And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: and they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neiother fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not” (Numbers 14:6-9).

The words which we find within these two chapters is not only a contrast between the two different types of fruit which the twelve spies brought back from the land, but it is also a contrast between fear and faith. What’s more, is that these two chapters were also a contrast between that which was seen with the natural eyes and that which was seen with and through the eyes of faith. What we find within these chapters is a wonderful and powerful contrast between that which the ten spies saw of and saw concerning themselves, as well as that which they believed the sons of Anak, which were descended from Anak saw with their eyes. The words which are found within these chapters is a truly remarkable and wonderful picture before us concerning twelve spies entering into the same land at the same time and seeing the same realities, and yet coming back with two vastly different reports. What’s more, is that the ten spies which brought back a negative report didn’t somehow see something different than that which Joshua and Caleb saw, and therefore their report was governed by a different reality which was present before them. These chapters provide us with the absolutely incredible and fundamental difference between that which we see with our natural eyes and that which we see through the eyes of faith. Oh that we would recognize and understand that what we see with our natural eyes we either see through the eyes and lens of faith, or through the lens of fear. I fully recognize and understand that faith is the evidence of things not seen, and that we walk by faith and not by sight, and with that we must recognize that walking by faith doesn’t mean we ignore what we have seen with our eyes, but that we view it through the lens of faith rather than fear, and chose fear as the catalyst for how we proceed and what proceeds forth from our mouths. The report which was brought forth by the ten spies was a report that had its origin in fear, while the report which Joshua and Caleb brought forth had its origin in faith and an unwavering trust and confidence in the promise, the provision and protection of the living God. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we in fact believe that which the living God has in fact and has indeed spoken unto us and are willing to allow our hearts, our minds, our thoughts, our emotions, our words, our reports, and even how we live our lives to be governed by faith over fear.

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