Have you ever noticed how much negativity there is in the news media today? It seems like every day we are bombarded with stories of violence, tragedy, and despair. While it's important to be informed about what's happening in the world, all this negativity can have a profound impact on our lives and our faith.
This reminds me of a story from the Bible, in the book of Numbers, chapter 13, verses 30-33. In this story, God had promised to give the Israelites a land called Canaan as their new home. To prepare for this, Moses sent out twelve spies, one from each tribe, to explore the land and report back what they found.
When the spies returned, they gave a mixed report. Caleb, one of the spies, believed that they could conquer the land because God was with them. He urged the people to have faith in God's promises and move forward with confidence.
However, the other spies had a negative perspective. They exaggerated the difficulties they encountered in the land and gave a report that caused the people to lose faith in God's promises. The spies described the land as being difficult to conquer and the people there as being too strong. They even claimed that the land "eateth up the inhabitants thereof" (verse 32), which was an obvious exaggeration.
This negative report caused the Israelites to grumble and lose faith in God. They began to fear the people of Canaan and doubted God's ability to help them conquer the land. As a result, they were punished by having to wander in the wilderness for forty years until the entire generation had died out, except for Caleb and Joshua.
The story of the spies in Numbers 13:30-33 teaches us several important lessons.
First, we must have a positive perspective and trust in God's promises, even when things seem difficult or challenging.
Second, we must be careful with our words and not exaggerate the difficulties we face. Negative reports can be harmful and lead us astray.
Finally, we must view the world through God's perspective, rather than through the lens of our own limited understanding or the negative messages of the world.
This last point is especially relevant today, as we are bombarded with negative news stories that can impact our faith and perspective on the world.
The news media tends to focus on the problems of the world, rather than on God's goodness and faithfulness. It's easy to become overwhelmed by all the negativity and lose sight of God's promises.
But just as Caleb urged the Israelites to have faith in God's promises, we too must rely on God's Word and perspective to guide us through the challenges of life.
In conclusion, the story of the spies in Numbers 13:30-33 reminds us to have a positive perspective, be careful with our words, and rely on God's perspective in all things.
Let us trust in God's promises and not be swayed by fake news reports or distorted views of the world.
Pastor Esposito would often say, "What we do in moderation, our followers will do in excess".
What clear commands in scripture am I violating that will cost me and my future generations?