We, like the children of Israel, are on a course, a walk, an adventure. In the process of our journey, we sometimes become DISCOURAGED. Notice the word “DISCOURAGED”. The root word is “COURAGE”. When you add the prefix “dis” at the beginning of the word, it ushers in the contrary meaning. Example: the opposite of COURAGE is fear, so DISCOURAGED is to be in fear. It’s meaning is totally opposite of ENCOURAGED.
What happens when you fall in fear? You fall into murmuring just as did the Israelites. You begin speaking against God, the truth of His word, and your leaders. Verse 6 says “The Lord sent fiery serpents”. In scripture, serpents are generally used to represent Satan. When we become DISCOURAGED, we fall into fear, doubt and unbelief. The Word says you fail to enter in because of your unbelief. Your doubt and unbelief cause you to open your mouth and speak everything contrary to what the Lord is trying to perform in you. Now you’ve really set yourself up for some real trouble and that’s just what you’ll get: fiery serpents – trouble! You will even find yourself murmuring against the Word of God. Verse 5 said they loathed this bread or manna. You’ll begin loathing God’s Word which is the bread of life.
Just think! All this happened while they were on the way, in the midst of doing the will of God.
Numbers 32:7-11 states they all, except for Joshua and Caleb (vs. 12), lost their inheritance because they became DISCOURAGED. Numbers 14:24 tells us that Caleb had a different spirit and followed the Lord “wholly”. This means “fully followed”, as a woman with child. Everywhere an expectant mother goes, unborn child goes. You might say the child follows the mom fully. The baby doesn’t become DISCOURAGED while on the way. Whatever path mom takes, baby follows. Just like Caleb followed God.
I may write more on this next month if the Lord is willing. In the meantime, be of good cheer, have a different spirit and be ENCOURAGED – not discouraged!