The Necessity of Faith (Week 6)
A couple of years ago, I was grappling with what appears to be contradictory principles regarding healing. Scripture seems to indicate that we are healed through the atoning death of Jesus on the cross (Isaiah 53), yet James instructs those who are sick to go to the elders of the church and that the prayer of faith will raise them up (James 5:15). If Jesus paid the price, then why is faith necessary?
The Scripture that enabled me to come to terms with this is found in our Walk Thru the Bible reading this week in Numbers 13. Most of us are familiar with the story of the 12 spies—one from each tribe—who were sent to investigate the land God had promised to give the Israelites.
Ten returned fearful of the walled cities and the large fearsome people. Two came back and affirmed all of that was true—but that God was with them and He would deliver the Land to His people as He had promised. Unfortunately, the people chose to listen to the 10, and as a result, never saw the goodness of the land.
The Israelites’ Land of Promise can be seen as a type and shadow of our salvation as Christians. As we enter our salvation through Jesus (our Joshua), we have many wonderful promises and provisions awaiting us. We must step out in faith and go after—and sometimes battle for—what we know God has provided, and in doing so, we will see Him deliver us and bless us.
The lesson from the Israelites’ lack of faith is that they totally missed out on everything God had intended for them to have and enjoy. Because Joshua and Caleb had faith in God, they did eventually enter the land and take possession of God’s promises. All it took was faith in God’s ability to do what He had promised to do.
For more lessons from God’s dealings with His people in the wilderness, tune in to this episode of Out of Zion with Susan Michael!
Dr. Susan Michael is host of the Out of Zion podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network.
About this episode:
We continue our study this week of the Israelites in the wilderness. God begins to prepare them to enter the Promised Land only to discover they lack the faith required to conquer it. More time and painful lessons are needed. God has His ways and even uses a pagan prophet to bless His people. This episode complements the daily readings from our Walk Thru the Bible reading plan for March 8-14, covering Numbers 9-24.
Going Deeper in Week 6: The Tabernacle & Ark of the Covenant
Susan interviews Dr. Chris McKinny, a scholar and professor, about the meaning and significance of the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant as well as their historical and cultural context.