Why Do You Discourage?
Why do you discourage the Israelites from going over into the land the Lord has given them? (Numbers 32:7 NIV).
Nearly every believer goes through discouragement at one time or the other. It can happen due to a variety of reasons. One of them is dealt with here. The cause of this kind of discouragement is fellow believers themselves. It may sound surprising but it is found true in the Bible.
Moses here is talking to the tribes who did not want to cross the Jordan to the Promised Land. They had found good pasture land and wanted to settle there. So Moses told them not to discourage their fellow Israelites from crossing over to the land that God had given them as an inheritance. He also reminded them how forty years ago their fathers who had spied out the Promised Land came back and discouraged them from entering the land God had given them. God therefore became angry with them and made them wander in the desert forty years. Only Caleb and Joshua, both of whom had encouraged the Israelites, later entered the Promised Land. All else above twenty years perished without entering there.
The lesson is very clear. It is important not to discourage fellow believers. If you do not have enough faith do not speak unbelief. It can destroy the faith that others might have. By your words you can easily cause others not to attempt things they wanted to do in faith. As a result God can cause them to wander in a desert experience. That means they may be prevented from entering the blessing that God has in store for them. Think of the long delays, the frustrations, the defeats, the punishments and God’s wrath that the Israelites endured for forty years as a result of discouragement. So never discourage fellow believers.