Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bad Reporting?

I read a book recently titled "Simple Church" by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger, and in it was a thought that caught my attention...

In Numbers chapter 13 the Israelites were on the verge of entering the promised land, Canaan. They had already seen God's hand many times. God had parted the red sea so that they could escape the Egyptians. His presence guided them with a cloud by day, and a fire by night. They were hungry, and God provided quail and manna for them to eat. By the time they reached Canaan, you would have thought that their faith was so strong that they would be ready to overcome any obstacle. Before they entered the land, Moses sent a group of twelve to go and explore it. Their mission was not to determine whether or not to go into the land. God had already promised that the land was theirs. The twelve men spied on the land for forty days. When they came back and gave their report, they said, "The land is full of milk and honey, but." They went on to say how there were huge people, and fortified cities, and there was no way that they would be successful in taking the land. Only two of the men, Joshua and Caleb, said that they could certainly do it. The majority of the spies spread the bad report among the Israelites. The result of their lack of faith, was that God caused them to wander in the wilderness for forty years, and none of that generation was able to enter into Canaan, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb. The interesting point in this whole story is that the "bad" report that was being spread was not a "false" report. It was true that there were fortified cities and huge people who lived in the region. But they failed to remember that God had already promised that He would be with them. He had shown that He kept His word through all of the miracles that had been done in the past. The spies couldn't see the problem through God's eyes, they were only seeing it in their own strength. No, they couldn't win the battle on their own, but God would ensure that the land would be theirs. It's easy to condemn the ten spies and say, "How could they have forgotten about all that God had brought them through?" But, if you think about it, don't all of us get nervous when we think the problem is bigger than we are? I think that it's easy to look at obstacles that come our way, and turn away because we think it's impossible to overcome them. Yet 1 John 5:4 says that "everyone born of God overcomes the world." If God could deliver the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, and into the promised land, then he can meet your need today as well! The question is, whose report will you believe?

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