Spiritually, the Promised Land is not a geographical area even though the eyes of most Christians focus there. If we think the land in Israel is what God is most interested in, we should start reading the Bible all over, for it is a redemption story for people! The Promised Land is the place where God desires His people to reside. In your mission God sends you as a witness, a spy, to observe the land, to give a report about the people in the land, bringing back fruit.
God commands us, “do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together.” When you fellowship with the land, what is your response? It is a test of responses! Our report is the evidence of what we witness. Do we see the giants in others as overcome? Do we see God possessing the people? Do we see our congregation as a place where milk and honey flows? Did we get the fruit! Did we get the fruit when we left our Sunday gathering?
ISAIAH 11:1–3 – Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And He will delight in the fear of the LORD…
—And He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear.
ISAIAH 53:7–8 – He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away…He was cut off out of the land of the living.
God sent twelve men into the land and prophetically acted out the plan of God. Caleb and Joshua represent a people who look with the eyes of God. They do not see with the physical eyes, nor hear with their physical ears, for they have spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. They see what God sees! These two witnesses search for what God is searching for. God goes into the land and He is searching for fruit. God is looking for God; God is looking for Himself—in the land. God finds the fruit and it is acceptable. God finds the fruit attached to a branch. God finds the fulfillment of the promise He made and now seals it. The fruit that God finds in the land is His Son. The branch God finds is His Son; His Son is the promise. What does God do when He finds the Son in the land? “He was cut off!” Let us observe Joshua and Caleb’s obedience of faith.
NUMBERS 13:23 – Then they came to the valley of Eshcol and from there cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes; and they carried it on a pole between two men, with…pomegranates and the figs.
God finds His Son in the land, the land of Israel, that He descended from; Jesus was born of promise, born to be the Branch of Isaiah 11:1; 60:21, Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15, and Zechariah 3:8; 6:12; “The Righteous Branch.” Jesus is also the Branch of the Lampstand in the Tabernacle; this branch contained three stages of the lifecycle of almond fruit (Exodus 25:33; 37:19). These verses bear witness of the Branch
The Branch will grow out of the temple of God, ac-cording to Zechariah, but first the Father cuts down His Son from the land of the living. Redemption in scripture always comes from life in the blood; for it was Abel’s sacrifice of blood that God found acceptable; a blood prophetically spilling unto the ground, standing as a witness towards redemption forever.
As Caleb cut down the branch and hung it on a pole between two men, Caleb prophetically acted out the cross of redemption.
Caleb took the sacrifice of the land, went back to the people and said, “Here is the proof of the prom-ise”—and they rejected him! They rejected the Proof and the messenger, even as they rejected Jesus, later.
NUMBERS 14:9–11 – Caleb says, “Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.” But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel. The LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?”
The people went to stone the messenger, Caleb. In this passage there are so many powerful pictures taking place that are applicable to our daily lives. Let us focus on this: The messenger agreeing with God is subject to get stoned. Stephen fulfilled this as He preached the crucified Jesus, telling of the redemption story to the Israelites, and they stoned him, even as he saw the glory of God revealed. Unbelievers hurl stones at us; even believers launch their stones—both hurt.
What is our response when we enter the land, when we enter our fellowship? Do we look for the fruit? Or, do we look for faults? If the people are true followers of Jesus, there is a branch with fruit in the land, among giants. When we talk with others about our Christian brother or sister, do we show them the fruit? Or, do we show the giants that are too strong? The true testimony of Christ is the Branch that we cut down to show others. Maybe we are silent, void of any testimony.
We must see in others the Christ born in their hearts, and we must agree with God when He said, “He Who began a good work in you will complete it.” We rid the land of towering giants through grace upon our lives. We choose to see them as defeated. We choose to see ourselves dwelling together because we abide in the Branch that was cut off. We choose to allow our own lives to follow His example, and we become cut off as well from this land of the living that we may be a testimony of fruit. Our response to every situation is the response of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
An excerpt from “Temple Builders: The High Calling”
John Robert Lucas