Bring Some of the Fruit of the Land
Numbers 13:20 – and whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are trees in it or not. Be of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land.”
For many of us, the days we are currently experiencing are days of solitude, days where we lack the familiar and welcomed presence of others. Right now, our entire church body is left without the weekly interactions of brothers and sisters that we depend on and those personal connections we look forward to. We are deprived of being with individuals we have grown so fond of and absent those group gatherings that bless our souls. Right now, we lack an encouragement that only comes from meeting face to face with dear brothers and sisters, and with the body of Christ. This is hard. We are all most certainly affected by this change. My fear for us right now is that it is possible and maybe even likely that we don’t realize the effect this change is having on our souls. I feel there is opportunity for us right now, but also great danger. First, in this morning’s devotion, we focus on the opportunity. To bring some of the fruit of the land.
Earlier this week, I found myself thinking of the spies that were sent out in chapter 13 of the book of Numbers. Those men who were to go look upon the land of Canaan and then report back to Moses, Aaron and the congregation. I remembered how they went out away from the congregation for 40 days. I reflected most upon their return and the fact that those men returned to the congregation with such little faith. As I thought through what I recalled of the text, I could not help but wonder about the task those men had been given and if their ultimate failure was due to the solitude they experienced in those 40 days. The worst seasons of my life were seasons of solitude.
As I went to the text and began to search, I was reminded of the fruit that was gathered on the journey. The cluster of grapes, the pomegranates and the figs. All this fruit was proof of the goodness of the land, and for us presently, it resembles the goodness we have in communion with our God and is a foretaste of the joy we can expect in the heavenly Canaan. This all led me to focus on the grace of God through his constant providing for us as his church. Even in these times he continues to care for us. As I continued, I realized there is great opportunity for us to gather fruit during this time, a time when many of us are alone, with only our Lord. We acknowledge that we are a people that is certain of God’s sovereignty and his ability to orchestrate any plan he chooses by any means he sees fit. We must admit, it is possible that God has decreed yet another time in history for his people to be drawn away from the world and to be pulled closer to himself. Notice the fruit these men gathered could not have been obtained if in large groups or gatherings, they would have been found out. There is fruit of the land to be gathered by us, individually, during this trying time. Jesus Christ went out alone and holding fast to the scriptures withheld the attacks of Satan himself. Brothers and sisters, we too have the scriptures. And we have Christ. God has equipped us. We have opportunity for fruit.
Prayer: Gracious heavenly Father, help us to look beyond these present challenges and to look upon Christ and the word, have mercy on us while we are away from the body and increase our willingness to be brought closer to you be any method you choose.