HOW DUMB CAN YOU BE?
A LESSON IN UNBELIEF
I'M SOOOOO BIG
“As soon as children are old enough to speak, one of the first questions parents ask is, “How big are you?” Children seem to always give the same answer, “I’m THISSSSS big!”
They generally raise their hands to look as big as they can,
as if to say, “I’m huge. I’m enormous. There’s no telling how big I may be.”
This is not an answer you can use in all cases.
For example, if your spouse were to ask, “How big do my hips look to you?”
you might not want to throw your hands high over your head and exclaim,
“Your hips are THISSSSS big.”
WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO SAY THIS BECAUSE WE WANT THEM TO REALIZE THAT THEY ARE GROWING
AND SO THAT THEY WILL HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE
ABOUT THEMSELVES AND THEIR ABILITY TO FACE CHALLENGES IN THE WORLD.
WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT THEMSELVES MATTERS.
WE DON'T WANT THEM TO THINK OF THEMSELVES AS SMALL, WEAK AND LACKING ADEQUATE STRENGTH FOR THE CHALLENGES OF LIFE
LET ME ASK YOU A QUESTION;
HOW BIG IS GOD?
HOW BIG IS GOD IN YOUR LIFE
TODAY'S SERMON IS ABOUT THE ISRAELITES FIRST ATTEMPT TO ENTER THE PROMISED LAND
AFTER ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF OF TRAVELING THROUGH THE DESERT, THE ISRAELITES HAD ARRIVED AT THE VERY EDGE OF THE PROMISED LAND.
GOD TOLD MOSES TO SEND 12 SPIES INTO THE PROMISED LAND AND CHECK IT OUT SO THAT THE ISRAELITES COULD SEE WHAT A GOOD AND FRUITFUL LAND IT WAS.
HOWEVER WHEN THE SPIES CAME BACK, THINGS DIDN’T GO AS PLANNED.
THE WHOLE STORY CAN BE FOUND IN
Numbers 13:26-14:45 (NIV)
LET’S BEGIN READING AT:
Numbers 13:26-33 (NIV)
26 They (the spies) came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
TEN OF THE SPIES GAVE A NEGATIVE REPORT. THEY SAID “WE CAN’T ATTACK THOSE PEOPLE; THEY’RE STRONGER THAN WE ARE.
OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS I’VE BEEN AMAZED AT HOW THE MEDIA HAS MANAGED TO POUR THE PEOPLE
THAT I WORK WITH INTO THE MOLD OF THEIR CHOOSING.
IT’S LIKE THE GENERAL PUBLIC DOSEN’T HAVE A MIND OF THEIR OWN.
THEY JUST BELIEVE WHAT EVER THEY ARE TOLD TO BELIEVE.
THE BASHING OF PRESIDENT BUSH WAS RELENTLESS
I WAS SO UTTERLY SICK OF HEARING HOW HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING WRONG IN THE WORLD.
I STAND AMAZED AT THE ABILITY OF THE MEDIA TO SWAY THE PUBLIC OPINION IN THE WORLD TODAY.
WHEN THE WRONG MESSAGE PREVAILS PEOPLE ACT STUPIDLY. THE HERD MENTALITY TAKES OVER
AND THEY DO DUMB THINGS.
IT WAS NO DIFFERENT THEN.
IT’S SO MUCH EASIER TO BELIEVE THE NEGATIVE THINGS WE HEAR THAN THE POSITIVE THINGS.
THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ISRAELITES.
THE TEN SPIES BAD REPORT WAS BELIEVED
AND THE TWO SPIES POSITIVE REPORT WAS IGNORED.
THE WHOLE ASSEMBLY WENT OFF THE DEEP END.
ALL THEY COULD SEE WAS THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF IT ALL.
THEY FULLY EMBRACED THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF OVERPOWERING THOSE HUGE GIANTS IN THE LAND.
IT DIDN'T MATTER THAT GOD HAD ALREADY DELIVERED THEM FROM PHAROAH AND EGYPTIAN BONDAGE.
ALL THE AMAZING THINGS THAT GOD HAD DONE FOR THEM OVER THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF WAS COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN.
THEY CHOSE TO HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF
NEGATIVISM, DEFEATISM, UNBELIEF AND FAILURE.
THEY SAID WHY DID WE EVER LEAVE EGYPT.
WHY WOULD GOD BRING US HERE TO DIE BY THE SWORD.
OH, IF ONLY WE HAD DIED IN EGYPT OR EVEN IN THE DESERT.
THEN THEY SAID; LET’S CHOOSE A LEADER AND ALL GO BACK TO EGYPT.
IN NEHEMIAH 9:17 WE READ THAT THEY DID CHOOSE A LEADER TO TAKE THEM BACK.
Nehemiah 9:17 (NIV) SAYS...
17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery.
MOSES AND AARON DID ALL THEY COULD TO TURN THE PEOPLE FROM THEIR NEGATIVISM, DEFEATISM, UNBELIEF AND FAILURE.
BUT ALL THAT DID WAS MAKE THE PEOPLE WANT TO STONE MOSES AND AARON TO DEATH.
THEN GOD STEPPED IN:
HE'D BEEN LISTENING TO THEIR UNBELIEF AND NOW HE'D HAD ALL HE COULD TAKE.
Numbers 14:10b (NIV)
10b Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the Tent of Meeting to all the Israelites.
GOD WAS SO TOTALLY DISCUSTED WITH THEM THAT HE WAS READY TO DESTROY THEM ALL.
FOR THE SECOND TIME, GOD WANTED TO DESTROY THE ISRAELITES AND RAISE UP A NATION FROM MOSES’S SEED.
BUT MOSES STOOD IN THE GAP FOR THEM
MOSES ENGAGED IN INTECESSORY PRAYER
THAT'S PRAYER THAT CAN CHANGE GOD’S MIND.
AND MOSES DID, GET GOD TO CHANGE HIS MIND.
BUT THESE REBELLIOUS PEOPLE HAD ALREADY FORFIETED THEIR ENTERING THE PROMISED LAND.
THEY'D FINALLY PUSHED GOD SO HARD THAT HE TURNED AGAINST THEM.
EVEN THOUGH MOSES MANAGED TO SAVE THEIR LIVES, THERE WERE STILL CONSEQUENCES TO BE PAID FOR THEIR ACTIONS.
THE 10 SPIES DIED OF A PLAGUE
ALL ISRAELITES OVER 20 YEARS OLD WERE SENTENCED TO 40 YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS. UNTIL EVERYONE OF THEM HAD DIED IN THE DESERT EXCEPT FOR CALEB AND JOSHUA.
(CALEB AND JOSHUA WERE THE TWO SPIES THAT GAVE THE GOOD REPORT)
LET'S READ IT FROM THE BIBLE.
MOSES DESCRIBES GOD SO WELL IN
18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.’ 19 In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”
20 The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, 22 not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. 25 Since the Amalekites and Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.a”
26 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say: 29 In this desert your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
WELL NOW THE SENTENCING HAS BEEN PRONOUNCED
THE ISRAELITES ARE FORBIDDEN TO GO INTO THE PROMISED LAND AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
NOW THEY WANT TO GO AHEAD AND FIGHT FOR THE PROMISED LAND.
HOW DUMB CAN YOU BE?
GOD SAID GO TAKE THE PROMISED LAND AND THEY REBELLED AGAINST HIM AND WOULDN'T DO IT.
THEN GOD SAID I'M NOT GOING TO LET YOU HAVE THE PROMISED LAND. I'M GOING TO GIVE IT TO YOUR CHILDREN BUT NOT TO YOU. AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
THEY GO UP AND TRY TO TAKE THE LAND IN THEIR OWN STRENGTH.
MOSES DIDN'T GO UP WITH THEM.
THE ARK DIDN'T GO UP WITH THEM.
GOD DIDN'T GO UP WITH THEM.
BUT IN THEIR CONTINUED REBELLION AGAINST GOD,
THEY GO UP AND TRY TO TAKE THE LAND WITHOUT GOD.
I WOULD LIKE TO THINK THAT WE ARE NOT THAT DUMB.
BUT, YOU KNOW WHAT.....
HOW MANY TIMES DO WE TRY TO RUN SOMETHING WITHOUT GETTING IN TUNE WITH GOD'S PLANS.
HOW MANY TIMES DO WE TAKE THE REIGNS
WITHOUT GETTING ON BOARD WITH GOD'S IDEAS.
THESE PEOPLE WERE A PRIDEFUL BUNCH.
GOD CALLED THEM A STIFF NECKED PEOPLE.
OH DON'T BE A STIFF NECKED PERSON.
BE WILLING TO SUBMIT TO GOD'S LEADING.
BE WILLING TO HUMBLE YOURSELF
AND FOLLOW GOD'S PLAN.
MY FRIEND, A NEGATIVE ATTITUDE WILL COST YOU.
IT COST THE ISRAELITES THE PROMISED LAND.
WHO KNOWS WHAT IT'LL COST YOU.
WHEN YOU'RE WITH A GROUP OF CO-WORKERS AND THEY'RE INVOLVED IN A CO-WORKER ROAST.
THE DISCUSSION IS A GOSSIP FEST ABOUT SOMEONE THAT ISN'T PRESENT.
DON'T JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION.
DON'T ADD TO THE FIRE.
SOMEONE ONCE SAID THAT IF YOU DON'T HAVE SOMETHING GOOD TO SAY ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE THEN DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL.
WHEN PEOPLE ARE SPREADING A NEGATIVE REPORT AROUND.
DON'T ACCEPT IT. TUNE IT OUT.
OR IF YOU CAN'T TUNE IT OUT THEN USE THE LEGS GOD GAVE YOU AND WALK AWAY.
THOSE TEN SPIES WERE STUMBLING BLOCKS
THEY CAUSED THE WHOLE NATION TO STUMBLE.
THEIR FEAR MONGERING KILLED ANY OPPORTUNITY FOR THE ISRAELITES TO ENTER INTO THE LAND OF PROMISE.
BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS BY FRIEND.
DON'T ALIGN YOUR SELF WITH FEAR MONGERING, STUMBLING BLOCK PEOPLE.
ALIGN YOUR SELF WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE LIKE THE TWO SPIES WHO SAID "IF WE TRUST GOD THEN HE WILL SURELY GIVE US THE LAND".
WHAT THEY ACTUALLY SAID WAS;
“We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
BECAUSE OF THEIR BELIEF AND TRUST IN GOD
CALEB AND JOSHUA WERE THE ONLY TWO PEOPLE OVER TWENTY YEARS OLD THAT GOD ALLOWED INTO THE LAND OF PROMISE.
WHAT IS YOUR LAND OF PROMISE?
WHERE DOES GOD WANT YOU TO GO?
WILL YOU CHOSE TO HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF
NEGATIVISM, DEFEATISM, UNBELIEF AND FAILURE.
OR WILL YOU LINE UP WITH GOD IN FAITH BELIEVING AND GO FIGHT THE GIANTS?
WILL YOU TAKE THE LAND THAT GOD IS LEADING YOU TO?
John Ortberg said.
“If You Want To Walk On Water,
You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat”
I THINK GOD IS LEADING US TO TAKE ON THE GIANTS OF ALBION.
a Hebrew Yam Suph; that is, Sea of Reeds