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Thinking About Food, or Food For Thought?



I don’t know about you, but for me, there are many verses in the Bible that contain statements that can be difficult to understand. Then, once I understand, they can become extremely encouraging, powerful, and faith building. One such verse is found in Numbers 14:9:


“Only don’t rebel against Adonai, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They will be food for us. The protection over them is gone. Adonai is with us! Do not fear them.”


For context, these are the words spoken by Joshua after he returned from spending 40 days investigating in the land of promise. Joshua spoke the words after the ten spies said the land couldn’t be taken. These words were Joshua’s attempt at encouraging the Children of Israel to have faith and trust in the promises of G-D. 


Numbers 14:9 would be easier to understand if it read this way: “Only don’t rebel against Adonai, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. The protection over them is gone. Adonai is with us! Do not fear them.”


Those few sentences are strong, encouraging, and faith building. However, Numbers 14:9 also includes the following sentence:


They will be food for us. 


Now, we know that Joshua wasn’t telling the Children of Israel not to fear the people in the Land because the Children of Israel were going to eat them. After all, the commandments of Torah forbid cannibalism. So, clearly, Joshua wasn’t telling them the people were literally going to be food for them. 


The Hebrew word translated as food in this text comes from the root word lechem, which means bread. To understand what Joshua was saying, we have to remember what Israel’s food, or bread, was at this time. They were eating manna, the bread from heaven that G-D was giving to them supernaturally, six days a week, because on Fridays, G-D supernaturally provided a double portion to last until Sunday. 


This is bread that they didn’t have to plant or harvest. They didn’t have to prepare or bake. All they had to do was go out each day and take what G-D had given to them. 


This is what Joshua was referring to when he said the cities and people of Canaan would be like bread to them. Joshua was reminding them that they could trust G-D to give them the Land of Promise because they had already experienced G-D giving them bread. Said another way, just as G-D gave Israel bread, He would also give them the Promised Land. 


Now that we understand this sentence from verse 9, we can understand exactly what Joshua was saying to the Children of Israel.


Only don’t rebel against Adonai, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. Just as Adonai has supernaturally given us bread from heaven He will supernaturally give us the Promised Land. The protection over them is gone. Adonai is with us! Do not fear them.”


These words of Joshua’s were fulfilled by G-D when Joshua walked in faith according to these words and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down supernaturally. 


I want to encourage you today in the same way Joshua encouraged the Children of Israel. No matter how long you have been a believer in Yeshua, G-D has supernaturally provided “bread” for you in some way or other. When you begin to question whether you can take whatever  Promised Land G-D has brought you to, just remember whatever you have to overcome will be like bread to you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a health crisis, a family crisis, a financial crisis, or a sin crisis. Remember the words of Joshua:


Only don’t rebel against Adonai, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They will be food for us. The protection over them is gone. Adonai is with us! Do not fear them.”

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