To get a deeper understanding of the importance of our words, we are going to look at an incident found in the book of Numbers, chapters 13 and 14. The Israelites had come out of Egypt and were on their way to the Promised Land. God arranged with Moses to send twelve men ahead of them to spy out the land: to find out its general character, the nature of the inhabitants, the kind of cities, the kind of fruit, and to bring back a report. One leader was chosen from each of the twelve tribes to go ahead into the land. They spent forty days walking through the land and then they came back with their report. The report they brought back is given to us in Numbers 13:26-28:
“And they [the twelve spies] went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, 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. [The fruit was so heavy that it took two men to carry one bunch of grapes on a staff between them. But this is what they said next:] Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak [the giants] there.’”
When God gives you a promise, are you going to accept the promise at its face value, or are you going to accept it and then say "nevertheless"? That was a fatal word that caused the people to be disturbed and distressed.
Two of the spies, however, Caleb and Joshua, refused to go along with this negative attitude. In Numbers 13:30-31, we read this:
“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.' 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.’”
Let us take notice of the words that were used. Caleb said, "We are well able to overcome it." The other ten spies said, "We will not be able." One set of spies said the positive: "We are able." The other set said the negative: "We are not able." As you follow the story, you will see that each group got exactly what they said. Each group’s destiny was settled by their words.
Dear Lord, I thank and praise You for the wonderful promises You have given us in Your Word. Thank You that Your Word is unshakeable, steadfast, and absolutely trustworthy. Please help me never to doubt Your Word, and always to boldly declare "I am able" to hold onto Your Word and promises. In Jesus' Name, Amen.