When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many.” – Numbers 13:17-18
Moses and the Israelites were very interested in Canaan Land—the land of their promise to which they believed God had brought them. So interested, that before they even dared to occupy the new territory, Moses sent spies into the land, to assess its value and its people. The spies were to bring back a detailed report on the quality of the land and its produce. In addition, the spies were to bring back intel about how the inhabitants lived—their dwelling places, the structure of their towns, and their armaments.
However, as thorough as Moses may have thought he was in giving his instructions for investigation, the investigation overlooked something very critical. People cannot be fully evaluated by their size, or their numbers, or their infrastructure, or their military or their environment.
A full assessment of any people or person must include an investigation into what those people value and the means by which those people approximate those values. We can never know anyone unless we understand what that person will serve or sacrifice for. Any evaluation of a person without regard for that person’s core values is incomplete.
Incomplete assessments of who people are, beyond what they possess, leads us into battles that we are not prepared to fight and into relationships that may be unnecessarily confrontational.
God made no assumptions about Jesus. God led Jesus into a period of investigation to fully ascertain Jesus’ inner values beyond Jesus’ outward status. That period of investigation is what we call Lent.
Lord please allow my Lenten season to reveal my true priorities, and may my true priorities be valuable in your sight. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.