[SW409] 12/7/2019 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2019
Conquering the Giant
Text: Numbers 13:25-14:45, etc.
Beloved, a promised land awaits you — the kingdom of heaven, within you (Luke 17:21)! It is a place where you no longer fail and fall in your struggle against the giant of sin!
The Lord promises that He will set you free slavery to the giant of sin (John 8:31-36) and purify your heart (Acts 15:9), if you will believe Him. Then His kingdom will be within you, and you will enter the kingdom of heaven at the end of your days! But no sinner will enter (1Corinthians 6:9-10).
I will show you that the response of the Jews to the Lord’s promise, as described in Numbers 13 and 14, because the response of many of today’s believers and today’s churches is the same! What is their response? Unbelief, which is rebellion!
A little background —
After two years of traveling from Egypt, stopping at Mt. Sinai for eleven months and at various other places as the LORD commanded, Moses brought Israel to the border of the land that God promised them.
At the LORD’s command, given through Moses, twelve men — one from each tribe of Israel — went in to spy out the land for 40 days. But when they returned, ten had a bad report, and only two had a good report about the land.
Numbers 13:25-27 —
All twelve of the spies came to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation, to report what they had found. Ten of the twelve spies said it certainly was a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD had promised! But then the ten sinned against the LORD, by saying they could not enter.
Verse 28 —
“Nevertheless,” said ten of the spies! “Nevertheless, the people in the land are strong, the cities are fortified and very large, and we saw the descendants of Anak (giants) there. And the Amalekites were also there.” Per Exodus 17:8-16, the Amalekites had attacked Israel in the wilderness as they traveled to the Promised Land, but because Moses held up the staff of God, they were defeated by Israel.
Verses 30-31 —
After the people heard the bad report, Caleb had to silence them. Then, he gave them a good report, saying, “Let us go up at once and take possession of the land, for we are well able to overcome it.” (NKJV) But the ten who had given the bad report said, “We cannot go up against the people of the land, for they are too strong for us!”
Verses 32-33 —
The ten spies continued their bad report to the people, saying, “The land is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. We also saw the Nephilim (giants), and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and in their sight.”
Verses 1-4 —
All the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and grumbled (complained) against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said, “It would have been better to die in the land of Egypt or in this wilderness! Why did the LORD bring us here to die? Our wives and children will become plunder.”
Then they decided to go back to Egypt, and appointed a leader to take them there.
Verses 5-9 —
When they heard the words of the congregation, Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the whole congregation, interceding for them. Why did they need to intercede for them? Because the people had rebelled against the LORD by not believing His promise to them. Joshua and Caleb also tore their clothes before the congregation as a sign of mourning for the LORD’s rebellious people.
Then they said to them, “This land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us — a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD, and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.”
Verse 10 —
But the people refused to believe them, and they all said Joshua and Caleb should be stoned to death. But then, the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting, and all the sons of Israel saw it.
Verse 11 —
The LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me and not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst? I will smite them with pestilence (that is, kill them) and dispossess them.” And He offered to make Moses a nation.
Verses 15-17 —
But the LORD’s offer to Moses was a test. The LORD knew his heart, but through this test, He would show Moses his own heart. And Moses interceded for His rebellious people, saying, “If you slay them, the people of the lands will say You could not bring this people into the land You promised them by oath, so You slaughtered them in the wilderness.” Moses asked the LORD to show His power to His unbelieving people, and all the nations, and show His great mercy to His people by forgiving them for their unbelief.
Verse 20, 22-30 —
The LORD said the people had tested Him ten times, and had not listened to His voice. So though He spared their lives, there was a price for their unbelief. He said, “They shall by no means see the land. But my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit and has followed me fully, will come into the land, along with his descendants.” And Joshua would also enter the land, per Verses 30 and 38.
Then the LORD commanded His people to return to the wilderness by way of the Red Sea, and said that as He lives (He swore by Himself), He would do to them all they had spoken in His hearing. All who grumbled against Him, from 20 years old and upward, would die in the wilderness (just as they had feared). And He said that surely, all those who had seen His signs and wonders and still not believed Him would not come into the land (just as they had feared), except for Caleb and Joshua.
Why did He bring what they feared upon them? They complained against the LORD, disbelieving Him!
Verses 31-23 —
The LORD promised that their children would enter the land. But the corpses of those who rebelled against Him would lie in the wilderness. So, He would keep His promise to bring Israel into the land.
He always keeps His promises! But that rebellious and unbelieving generation would not enter the land.
Verses 33-35 —
Their children would be shepherds in the wilderness for 40 years — one year for every day the spies had spied out the land. Surely, He said He would do all this to “this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me.” He also immediately judged the ten who had spied out the land and brought back the bad report, killing them with a sudden plague.
Verses 36-39 —
But Joshua and Caleb, who had believed in and trusted the LORD, remained alive, and entered the land, after helping Moses lead the people in the 40 years in the wilderness.
When the people heard the LORD’s words, and the ten spies died by the sudden plague, the people mourned greatly. But it was not the mourning of repentance. How do I know they were unrepentant? Their hearts were revealed by what they did the very next day.
Verses 40-43, 45 —
The LORD had commanded Moses to take them back into the wilderness for 40 years. But the next morning, some of the people decided to go into the land, in their own strength.
Moses said, “Why are you transgressing the commandment of the LORD, when it will not succeed?” He warned them not to go up, or they would be struck down, for the LORD would not be with them, because they turned back from following the LORD.
But they went in! And they were conquered by the people of the land. The LORD was not with them, because they rebelled against His express command to go back into the wilderness for 40 years.
The message for today’s believers and today’s church
O believer, from your own past experiences, you know that you cannot conquer the giant of sin, in your own strength. It is a giant, and you are a grasshopper! And as long as the Lord is not with you, you will continue to fall and fail.
But if you will repent from your unbelief and rebellion and ask Him to fulfill His promise to crucify your sin nature and be filled with His Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5), sin will no longer be a looming giant, but a conquered foe!
Many preachers, teachers, prophets and church leaders spy out the land that the Lord promises. They see in the Word of God that it flows with all the spiritual provision they need. But their hearts are filled with unbelief. So they say, “Nevertheless!”
They disbelieve God the Father and God the Son’s promise, thus rebelling against Him, saying, “Nevertheless, the giant of sin cannot be conquered! We are like grasshoppers before the giant of sin, and Satan also sees us as grasshoppers! Therefore we cannot enter!”
They seem unable to see that by their bad report, they really are saying, “Jesus Christ brought us all this way for nothing! We must remain slaves to sin!”
The bad report of today’s spies has been brought back to their churches and announced from many pulpits. And many believers mourn, but it isn’t a mourning of repentance. It is a mourning of unbelief.
They mourn that the Lord has been unfaithful to them, telling them they can enter the promised land of freedom from slavery to sin. They wail because they believe the bad report that they cannot conquer the giant of sin!
They see the unconquerable giant of sin looming before them! So they mourn that they will die in the wilderness, rather than entering the spiritual promised land into which God the Father and God the Son have promised to bring them!
Some of their preachers, teachers, prophets and leaders have concluded that they can work at conquering the giant of sin in their own strength, and that gradually, believers can sin less than they have been sinning. But no sinner will enter the kingdom of heaven!
So they attempt to conquer the giant of sin in their own strength, but the giant of sin defeats them, because the Lord is not with them. No one can conquer the giant of sin, in their own strength! So they and those who believe them wander in their self-made wilderness!
But if they will repent and believe, the Father promises —
Ezekiel 36:25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
And Jesus Christ promises —
John 8:31 “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free . . . 34 Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35 “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
Many of the corpses of unbelieving leaders and their followers have fallen and will yet fall in their self-made wildernesses! Why? They and their followers have rebelled against the Lord, refusing to believe that the Lord will destroy the sin giant by crucifying their sin nature and filling them with His Holy Spirit!
Just as Joshua and Caleb said, I say that you certainly should go in and possess the spiritual promised land. the kingdom of heaven, because the giant of sin will be conquered by the Lord.
If you believe Him and obey His commands, His glory and His presence will fill you! So He will not only be with you, but He will be in you! That is the spiritual promised land into which you will enter! I tell you the truth, when His kingdom is within you, you will be freed from slavery to sin and pure of heart!
As for those preachers, teachers, prophets and church leaders who disbelieve Him, even now, the Lord judges them! He strikes them down by exposing their sin, and many have been and will yet be removed from their positions.
But unless they repent and return to the Lord, they will also face Jesus Christ’s judgment at the end of things, because they have rebelled against Him by not believing His promises, and have taught their followers to disbelieve Him! And so will all in the church who rebel against Him by not believing Him!
Jesus Christ says that on the day of judgment, they will come before Him and say, “Lord, Lord, didn’t we? Didn’t we?” And He will say to them, “I never knew you; away from Me, you who sin!” (See Matthew 7:23.)
These things are written for our instruction, beloved! Paul writes to the believers at Corinth —
1Corinthians 10:6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” 8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Many wanted to kill Paul and the message the Lord commanded him and others to speak. Even today, many want to silence those of us in whom the giant of sin has been conquered, who have the kingdom of God within us, and who are urging others to repent and believe the Lord! But His Word will forever stand! And we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:20)!
Beloved, I exhort you to turn from your rebellion, turn away from your unbelief, turn back to the Lord, and believe Him! Believe that He will crucify your sin nature and thereby conquer the giant of sin, and will fill you with His Spirit and purify your heart!
I tell you the truth, there is a consequence if you disbelieve. The kingdom of heaven will not enter you, and you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. The Lord will send you out to wander in your self-made wilderness, and will see to it that what you have feared because of your unbelief will come upon you. He will do it so you will finally repent for your rebellion against Him!
Lord Jesus, may these words that You have directed me to speak be heard and heeded by those who are in today’s church. May they cry out to You to conquer the giant of sin in them, and ask you to establish your kingdom within them! Let it be so, I pray! Amen!