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ESHCOL


“That place was called the Valley of Eshcol because of the cluster of grapes”
(Numbers 13:24)


God never leaves us groping in the dark.  True, people of faith put their faith out there, subjecting
themselves to the unknown which in theory would leave anyone in the dark.  That’s part of the deal which we
willingly agree to.  But God supersedes that and wants desperately for us to know He never leaves or
forsakes us, so there are always signs provided along the way, signs which become intermittent
reinforcement substantiating our commitment.  Sometimes the signs are ill-defined, often invisible,
but always there just in the nick time when we need them.  So we can say without any physical proof that we
are doing the right thing.  More often than not, however, God gives us tangible signs anyway just because
He’s God and He loves us.

In Numbers 13 there is the account of God’s people investigating the land which was promised to them.  
They were searching for a physical sign to verify that they were headed in the right direction.  Same kind of
thing we do.  They traversed a lot of desert and found that wasn’t their answer.  It was no answer at all.  But
they didn’t give up and kept going.  Finally they came to the valley of Eshcol which was rich with natural fruit
such as figs and pomegranates.  They cut off a branch with a succulent cluster of grapes and carried it
between them on a pole all the way back to their people as proof that God did indeed know what He was
doing.  No kidding - they could have saved forty days if they had just believed in the first place and let it be.  
But no, they had to have their proof.  They should have had enough faith to rise above that stage, God 101,
but that was rarely the case then and rarely is now.  

When President Lincoln freed the slaves, the Bible beaters in their attempt to justify their sin, kept throwing
around Paul’s statement about slaves being subject to their masters.  Same thing today - President Obama
has opened the door for gay and lesbian people to have their freedom too, and once again the Bible beaters
are throwing around Paul’s words, lifting his opinions high above anything Jesus said or did, in their attempt
to justify their sin of blatant bigotry.  In the long run will they win?  Nope - they never do.  We who are
oppressed hold before us that cluster of grapes which represent our hope, our deliverance, and our future
of prosperity and untold blessings.

David, who the Bible recorded as the man after God’s own heart, saw it coming.  In Psalm 94:5 he cried unto
God,
“they oppress your inheritance.”  It’s centuries later and that’s still what they’re wanting to do.  We are
God’s inheritance.  Make no mistake.  David continued to declare in
Psalm 94:14 that
“God will never forsake his inheritance.”  This we know.  
And finally, David says in Psalm 94:22,
“the Lord has become my fortress.....the rock in whom I take refuge.”

My exhortation to you today is to cling to that rock.  It is Jesus who is our rock, our salvation and our
deliverer.  We need no other.  Psalm 61:2
“From the end of the earth will I cry to thee, when my heart is
overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
 Isn’t that just the best verse ever?  This, penned
from a gay man born around 1040 BC.  Some things never change.  David won God’s heart and so have
you.  This is our time, the time when we stand and watch in awe at the salvation of our God.  They’ll be a lot
of fighting and the bigotry will come out full force, but God will fight for us, deliver us,
and redeem us unto Himself.








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