With Natural Eyes

Posted on April 20, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Victory Call

What do we miss by seeing only with natural eyes?
Israel stood south of the Promised Land. God instructs Moses to send 12 spies to go check out the Land He promised Abraham. Canaan.  The spies spend 40 days scoping out the Land and return with disappointing news.

“At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land.  And they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the people of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, ‘We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there…We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.’  So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, ‘The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height.  And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.’” Numbers 13:25-28; 31-33.

There is much more to this story, but for today’s purposes, I want to focus on the 10 spies that could only see with natural eyes.  (Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, saw with supernatural eyes of faith.)

What the 10 spies saw determined their report.  At least for the moment they failed to remember Who God was.  Their faith failed. (We’ve all been there). They only saw what their physical eyes could see.  They saw a land flowing with milk and honey (just as God promised) but they also saw the people in the land were strong, stronger than they, and the cities were fortified and large. They saw a land that devours its inhabitants and people of great height.  Hurdle. Hurdle. Hurdle.

What they saw with their natural eyes left God out of the picture completely, so their conclusions were no surprise.  Humanly speaking – there was no way they would possess the land.

That reminds me of David.  He too faced a “giant.” Goliath was about 9’9” tall.  (My nephew is 6’9” and he’s tall. I’m trying to imagine Goliath towering 3 feet above his head.)  David did not see with natural eyes. He saw Goliath through the eyes of faith in the God of Israel.

“And David said, ‘The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’” (1 Samuel 17:37)

Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.’” (1 Samuel 17:45-47)

David believed the God of Israel would deliver him against all odds and stepped out in a demonstration of his faith.  He saw with supernatural eyes of faith. We all know the story. God slew Goliath with a single stone from David’s sling shot. David doesn’t say he will slay Goliath because he is such a great shot. He understood that to slay Goliath would require supernatural ability only God can give him.

Are you more like the 10 spies or like David?  Do you see with natural eyes or do you see with supernatural eyes?  Do you believe only what you can see or do you trust God is true to His Word and promises?

Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of their lack of faith.  Their faithlessness cost them dearly. What have we missed out on because of our natural eyesight?  What has our faithlessness cost us?

Lord, give us supernatural eyes of faith to live way beyond our own natural abilities.


Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at dhunt@americaskeswick.org.

Think About This: “Learn to commit every situation to God, and trust Him for the outcome. God’s love for you never changes, no matter what problems you face or how unsettled life becomes.” – Billy Graham

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 141-142, 1 Samuel 25. You can download our 2023 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Therefore, let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:19

Want to get away & have dedicated time to read & learn God’s Word?

Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


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