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?” Maybe you’ve been the negative one, while everyone else around you is trying to stay positive? I’ve been on both “sides”.
Time spent in this kind of company, with its barrage of negative talk, doubt and complaining can eventually start to wear down those listening. 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 this kind of talk; We can’t afford to entertain it – even for a moment.
Psalm 1:1–2 tells us
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
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 left to spy out the Promised Land, God had already promised that He was giving 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 not remember that promise? How did a massive group become so influenced by the terrible, negative reports of just ten men?
They became overwhelmed by the seeming hopelessness of the situation, worked themselves into a tizzy, cried all night and began to take on the attitude of the spies; “we can’t, there are giants in the land!” Once that mindset took hold, it spread through the camp like wildfire. From there it was a downward spiral of 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 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...”
We don’t what words Caleb used to quiet them, but he was a man acting on God’s instruction, the voice of hope, faith and reason in the face of mass panic. You and I can be that voice, wherever we are, with those we come into contact with who have lost hope. We, who are called to be salt and light.
And when you yourself are overwhelmed, afraid, or sad, you can go to the very source of those words; to The Lord God Himself. Talk to Him 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 ‘spies’; instead seek out the Caleb’s and Joshua’s in life to form Godly friendships to ‘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 Lord your God – how much bigger is He!?
Choose the ‘report’ that is agreement with what God has said!
Who are you listening to today?