The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel.”
Who Are You Listening To?
Have you ever been in a place in life where you just seem to be surrounded by ‘nay sayers’; people who say things to you or in your company such as “We can’t, you can’t, we’ll never be able to do this, this was a bad plan, God has deserted us/you?” Time spent in this kind of company, with its barrage of negative talk, doubt and complaining can eventually start to wear you down. And as we well know, these nay-sayers aren’t always people. Sometimes it’s our own thoughts, allowed to run rampant, that have us running. More often than not it’s the enemy of our souls, the devil, that whispers the insidious lies of doubt and fear.
Whoever, or whatever the source of the negative talk, it’s potentially damaging to us and we need to actively avoid it. We cannot afford to entertain it, even for a moment.
Psalm 1:1-3 says it so clearly:
“Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example], Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers)”
What Did God Say?
If we have a look again at Numbers 13:1-2 we see God spoke to to Moses, instructing him to send 12 spies into the Land of Canaan. We all know this story; it’s so familiar that we could easily gloss over it and miss an important point. What else did God say? He said “send men to spy out the land of Canaan which I am giving to the people of Israel”.
Before the scouts even got to the Promised Land to spy it out, God had already promised to give it to the children of Israel!
What Did The ‘News Reports’ Say?
Why, we might ask ourselves as we read on through this story, did the Israelites listen to the terrible, negative reports from 10 of the spies?
They became overwhelmed by the seeming hopelessness of the situation, worked themselves up into a tizzy, cried all night and began to take on the attitude of the spies of “we can’t, there are giants in the land!” Once that took hold, it spread through the congregation like wildfire. It was a downward spiral into grumbling and complaining against their leaders until they found themselves stuck;
Sadly, it’s a common human story; One we’re all familiar with – I know I am; I can be so fickle, where God is so faithful.
We’re up – then we’re down, and all it takes is a few words from the wrong source.
What Did Caleb Say?
If only they’d listened to Caleb, the voice of faith and hope among the many negative voices of doubt and fear!
What Did Caleb say? “Let us go up at once and take possession of it; for we will certainly conquer it.” Numbers 13-30
I love the way it says in verse 30 “Caleb quieted the people” This immediately brings to mind Zephaniah 3:17
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love...” Caleb was a man acting on behalf of God, seeking to quiet the people with words of hope. But when you are overwhelmed, afraid, sad, you can go to the very source of those words; to The Lord God Himself and let His words wash over you and quiet your soul with His love.
Choose to believe what God says!
Our God is a covenant keeping God, who keeps His promises. Whether it’s a specific promise God has made to you, or whether we are talking in general about God’s promises to us His children, He will never go back on His Word.
Don’t listen to the ‘10 spies’; instead seek out the Caleb’s and Joshua’s in life to form Godly friendships and ‘do life’ with, whereby you can encourage and ‘quiet’ one another. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one because they have a more satisfying return for their labor; for if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and does not have another to lift him up.”
However things may look at this moment, choose to wait for the promise. Don’t look at the “giants in the land” but at the God who created them – how much bigger is He!?
I’m speaking to myself too, because I woke up this morning listening to the nay-sayers of my own mind, and had to spend some considerable time reminding my heart of what God says, in spite of how my situation may have seemed to me. I’m choosing the ‘report’ that is agreement with what God has said. I’m choosing the Caleb Report.
Who are you listening to today?
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