In every war there is a crucial need for Intelligence. Intelligence is really nothing other than gathering reports of what has been seen, in order that plans can be made. Moses, when He and the people of God reached the border of the Promised Land, told the people to select two men from each tribe to "spy out" the land.
What is the terrain like? How about the inhabitants? Are there many or few? What are they like? Is it forested? What kind of trees? The answers to these questions and others tell us what one might expect when possessing the Land of Promise.
Maybe you remember the little kid's game in which one child says, "I spy with my little eye . . .." The other child asks a number of questions in order to ascertain what the object is that the other child is describing. Is it a person, a place, a thing?
Relying on someone else's vision can be entertaining at best and dangerous at worst. In the confusion of combat, air strikes are called in by forward observers. If the reporting is off, the artillery can land on one's own troops. In the case of the spies that Moses sent, 10 of the twelve gave a negative report. That is to say that they only saw negative things about the Promised Land. They saw why inheriting the Land was impossible.
Only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb had a good report. They said that the land was just as the Lord promised it would be and the people should take steps to inherit it because the Lord had the power to see to it that they would succeed.
How often do we see this phrase in the Bible, "Son of man, what do you see?" It appears that the Lord starts with our vision and then adds the perspective of His promise. Take the case of Jeremiah. The Lord asked him, "What do you see?" Jeremiah said, "I see the rod of an almond tree." The Lord says, "you have seen correctly, now I am going to quickly bring about what my Word has promised." (My paraphrase.)
You see the Almond tree was referred to as the "hasty tree" because the appearance of buds on that tree mean that a change of season was imminent. It was the first tree to bud in the spring. Jeremiah was told that what the Lord was about to do He would do "quickly."
This morning, as we continue our series Come to Your Senses, I want to challenge us with this question: "What do you see with respect to the promise of God?" The answer to that question will determine everything.