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(Numbers.13:16-14-12)

The issue here is the people’s refusal to heed the word of God.  They chose to believe something different.  Walking with God does involve some elements of the unknown and the uncertain, but it is the only place of real joy, peace and true happiness.  All other places are sinking sank.   Most Christians do not want to walk with God, not only because the walk is on His term, but also because they think it is too risky and involves too much of the unknown and uncertainties.  Man gets uneasy if he is not in control.  He wants to be totally sufficient in himself. Obeying the Word of God and living by it, tends to make one look stupid and weird.

The idea and the proposal to spy the land was not Moses’ making or thinking.  It was God’s plan and a direct command from Him to Moses. (vv.2-3) God intended the pre-entrance visit to boost their faith in a positive sense, an incentive for courage and full zeal to go on and possess the land.  This was God’s way of boasting about the land.  Why?  Because He had already said that He would give them the land. (v.2) Moses did not send cowards, but able bodied and seasoned men of war, who were heads of the 12 Tribes. (V.2)

Moses gave the 12 spies clear instruction about their mission of espionage and the general look of the land re: a) The military strength of the people.  b) Their population.  c) The topography of the land.  d) Their cities, whether opened camps or fortified cities.  e) The richness of the land in terms of agriculture. That they should bring some of the fruits of the land…a visual aid, because a picture is worth a thousand words.

The 12 spies departed for the land armed with Moses’ instructions.  They spent 40 days spying the land from Zin to Rehob. They went to the South and visited the dwelling areas of three giants:  Ahiman,  Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak. They came to the valley of Eshcol and cut some grapes, pomegranates and figs. They returned at the end of the 40th day.

God was totally disappointed and almost closed his ears to the reports the 10 spies brought back from the land.  The exercise was a total failure and a disaster.  It did not produce what the God expected and intended. He was shocked! God almost wished He never sent them out to spy the land.  Why was God shocked? The answer: Sometimes, our concept of God can be so superlative that we make Him a God who is unfeeling and totally removed from human pain and misery. On the other hand, we can be so naïve that we make Him like our houseboy.  We need a balance here!

From Egypt To Kadeshbania 14:11

Surveying the ways and the acts of God.

In a great move of power through 10 plagues, He rescued the Israelites from the slavery and the tyranny of king Pharaoh. God performed miracles galore, in forty years in the wilderness before His people. Their shoes grew in their feet. Their clothes, shoes, head-gears and other forms of apparel also grew. He gave them forty years of warranty.  He opened the Red Sea and led them trough, before He closed it up upon the Egyptians, showing them that they can never return to Egypt. He destroyed the army of Pharaoh in the same Red Sea that was a way of salvation to the Israelites. He fed them with angels’ food: manna from heaven and quails. He gave them water to drink in the desert.  By words and the mighty demonstration of His power, He showed the Jews that He was capable of giving them the Promised Land. So when they came back with such a destructive report, God was totally shocked. 14:11

Note:  People say, “If we see God’s power and miracles, we will do this and do that.” But Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believed.” Miracles do not change people’s heart. We need to make up our minds to serve God, come rain or sun shine, with a will bent on doing His will, with or without miracles.

The 12 Spies Returned:

(v. 25 – 29)

They returned with two ingredients: a) Words and b) Fruits.  These two represented verbal testimonies and tangible, certified concrete testimony. It was a visual aid. The testimony of the majority was a downer to the community.  It poisoned their souls and stole their faith in God. The report of the majority was based on human fear and perception.  a) They allowed size and sight to destroy the word of God in their hearts. Size does not always determine strength in spiritual matters. Sight can be very deceptive as to the real and permanent state of things and events. b) They opened their lives to fear and it robbed them of God’s courage and strength.  c) They gave themselves to the spirit of fear and lies and it destroyed over 2 million souls.  Fear and lies are twin brothers and always like the two sides of a coin.  d) They forgot all the mighty miracles of God from Kadeshbarnia to Egypt. e) They chose to believe a lie and used man as their standard of strength, instead of God. f) Although their assessment of the environment was right, they could not lift up their heads to see a greater power in their God. g) They did not only see themselves in their trouble, but the trouble was in them and God was out. h) The fear and lies killed 3 million people before God has the chance to pronounce His verdict.

Five Observations:

  • A man is not ruined nor destroyed by the estimation and the testimonies of others as long as this is not the estimation of himself. The moment he begins to agree with people’s estimation of himself and begins to say it to his own ears, he is ruined. Believing is seeing!
  • Men may call you grasshopper when you face a giant, however, you are still not a grasshopper. You become a grasshopper when your words agree with theirs words.
  • What people see and hear, play a major role in the exercise of their Faith in God.  Negative reports or subversive words have greater potential to remove the people from and one another.  It has potential for disunity and the destruction of the body.
  • The people who speak the loudest in the congregation are usually the ones who do not want to please God and do His will. You hardly hear the voice of those whose will is bent on doing God’s will.  This was represented in Joshua and Caleb.
  • Empty barrels have great potential to produce the loudest and greatest noise, but full barrels do not. As it is in the natural, so also, it is in the spiritual, since all truths are parallel.

The Minority Report (2)

(V. 30)

The word of God was the foundation for their testimony.  Because God said that the land was theirs.  They were able to and they should go up and take possession of it. We shall surely overcome.

When evil precedes good, good is totally seen as evil.   When bad reports testify before good reports, the object of the reports become a thing of History.

Majority of humanity suffers from this problem.  There are evil reports out there in Brandon, Winnipeg, Killarney, Morris, Glenora, Winkler, Morden, Pilot Mound and other places.  The hands and hearts of the people are usually weak.

Those who go around bearing evil and bad reports, do not really understand how God feels about His body. Bad or evil reports, whether of a group of people or an individual is a sin  and repentance is very imperative.

Fear and Lie

When fear is born, it comes with its twin brother, lie.  The following are six lies reported by the majority 10 out of the 12 spies that left Moses.

  • V.28/31.  Not all the cities are fortified and very large.  Jericho is only one example. How did they prove the strength of the people?  How did they arrive at this conclusion?  By whose strength did they measure their own strength? It was by the enemy’s strength and not God’s, who promised them the land.
  • V. 28.  They did not see the descendants of Anak there. And verse 22 did not say so.
  • V. 31.  God said they could possess the land.  They said they couldn’t.  Who is lying?  God or man?
  • V. 32. The land does not devour its inhabitants; otherwise no one would be alive on it.
  • V. 32.  All the people they saw were not men of great sizes.  This was an exaggeration.  Verse 22 only made reference to 3 men of great size
  • V. 33.   They did not see the Nephilim.  Verse 22 did not say that they saw them.  Caleb did not say so.  The people only came to where 3 giants lived.
  • V. 33. The 10 spies were not grasshoppers originally.  They were seasoned men of war and heads of the 12 Tribes of Israel. What they saw changed their thinking and the estimation of themselves. They were not grasshoppers.  They only became grasshoppers, because of fear and lies in their heads. Fear can make men of great integrity tell awful and terrible lies.

 The Minority Report

(14: 6-10)

Two men, Joshua and Caleb stood for God and held on to His words given earlier that He would give them the land.

  • V. 6. Evil report grieves and breaks the hearts of those who love to please God and do His will.
  • V. 7-9. These two men are sons of consolation and encouragement.  They took sides with God’s words and did not speak their own words from size and sight.  They saw God instead of giants.
  • V. 10.  When a man begins to stand for God and takes His words seriously, those around him who have substituted faith in God for fear and lies, and do not have the same devotion, will want to kill, fire or find ways to implicate them.

 Positive Points from the Study

  • You have to be careful what you hear and where you hear what you hear these days.  The Church has been turned into a gossip and commercial center. They hear not Jesus Christ, but the pastors, who is the president and founder, making it water and air tight fences for the sheep.  Not even God can touch them because the Church is now their baby.
  • Today, material wealth and the ministry are very synonymous and have become the two sides of a coin.  The Church’s ministry today has become a game of the survival for the fittest.
  • Following God will always involve the realm of the unknown, the uncertain, the risky and this element in our walk with God draws us closer to Him, because He is all knowing, all powerful and fills all in all.
  • Walking with God is a safer and better way and does not have the negative risks people call our attention to all the time.  It is the way of peace, rest, joy and true happiness.
  • Man was made to live for God, walk with Him and makes His will his bread.   If we do, we shall look away from the giants and make God our focus.  Why?  He can kill the giants and give us the land.  We shall not be moved by what we see, hear or feel, but only by the word of God.
  • Has God spoken concerning your life?  Then believe Him for His Word’s sake, regardless of what you see, hear or feel, even in the midst of giants.

In forty years in the wilderness before His people, their shoes grew in their feet. Their clothes, head gears and other forms of apparel also grew.  He gave them forty years of warranty.  He opened the Red Sea and led them trough, before He closed it up upon the Egyptians, showing them that they could never return to Egypt.  He destroyed the army of Pharaoh in the same Red Sea that was a way of salvation to the Israelites. He fed them with angels’ food: manna from heaven and quails.   He gave them water to drink in the desert. By words and the mighty demonstration of His power, He showed the Jews that He was capable of giving them the Promised Land. So when they came back with such a destructive report, God was totally shocked. 14:11

Note:  People say, “If we see God’s power and miracles, we will do this and do that.” But Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believed.” Miracles do not change people’s heart.   We need to make up our minds to serve God, come rain or sun shine, with a will bent on doing His will, with or without miracles.

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